The work on Perry County’s historic Courthouse building has been hard to miss in recent weeks. Perry County Commission Chairman Albert Turner said the current project, the restoration of the fluted columns on the building’s east and west porticoes, represented an investment of $180,000.
“This is the first phase,” said Turner. He said the project had been in the works for about six months before construction began in mid-March. He estimated the project would take the county’s contractor, Simpson Plastering of Birmingham, 55 days in all to complete.
A second phase of work, planned for next year, will include the refurbishment of the decorative wood cornicing along the building’s upper exterior.
“This is the people’s house, and it shouldn’t be dilapidated,” said Turner regarding the restoration work. He noted that because the building, one of only four antebellum courthouses still in use in Alabama, is on the National Register of Historic Places, the county has to follow federal historic preservation guidelines in everything it does to the building.
Turner said this first phase of work was being completed with state capital improvement grant funding. Perry County has applied for a grant from the Alabama Historical Commission for the second phase of work, he said, which would entail another $250,000 in investments.
That work is in addition to safety partitions, automatic doors, and other COVID-related work the county has done at the courthouse with federal pandemic aid to ensure a safer environment for employees and citizens, Turner said.