The Logan County Courthouse in Paris will be undergoing more than $248,000 worth of exterior renovations and repairs to the bell tower over the next several weeks, according to Logan County Judge Ray Gack.
Judge Gack said earlier in the year that the bell tower project was needed because the wood was rotted and falling off.
“The bell tower is no longer a wish, but now an absolute need due to the wood falling off of it. We made other improvements to the courthouse with funds from a grant, but now that those funds have run out, it falls solely on the county to take care of.”
Judge Gack said that the county applied for another grant from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, but since they supplied funds for renovations to the bell tower several years ago, the county was denied. The funds for the project will be used from county revenue.
The bell tower renovation is part of an ongoing project of the Logan County Courthouse in Paris that included 12 wooden columns and trim work that had to be specially made to fit the requirements of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, which provided a grant for a portion of the project.
Renovation work has already begun as parts of the exterior of the building have already been fenced off. The first step in the renovation work is having a pattern made of the current woodwork, to restore the bell tower according to historical records, which will take 4-6 weeks before the design will be completed.
“Because the courthouse is on the Historic Registry we have to replicate the bell tower as it was originally,” said Gack.
The county decided to use Redwood for the renovation instead of Pine with hopes that the wood will last longer and not rot away as fast as it did since the last repairs.
“After the pattern is designed and made, you will see the crew begin construction on the bell tower. It will probably be four to six weeks before that will happen.”
The courthouse was rebuilt in 1909 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.