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Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse looking to restore clock tower

Updated: Jun. 7, 2021 at 10:11 AM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Officials with the Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse are trying to spread the word to help restore the clock tower.

They say after 130 years, the clock tower is in need of restoration.

As the hammer strikes the bell, a familiar sound rings through the streets of downtown Evansville; one people have been hearing for well over a hundred years.

“It will, I think outlast any other government building that might’ve replaced it. It will be here for many generations to come as long as this generation does the work that is necessary to maintain and preserve it,” explained Larry Bristow.

According to officials, the old courthouse has been revitalized over that past decade, but one of the last large areas needing attention is the bell, bell tower, clock faces and clock tower.

A study shows work on the outside of the Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse’s bell tower is needed to keep limestone from cracking and falling off.

“Some are repair projects, some are maintenance,” added Bristow. “But, it’s a big deal any way you look at it.”

Officials say the clock tower is still structurally sound, but it has reached a point of deterioration where repairs are now necessary, including the bell itself.

“It needs to moved a little bit every few years. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been moved for many years so the 100-pound iron hammer has continued to strike the very same place, causing a pretty major indentation,” shared Bristow.

Leaders say they feel it’s important to invest in preserving it.

“A lot of the glass is broken. The one that is here behind is probably in the best condition,” said Bristow. “In some of the other ones, the glass is held in with duct tape. So it’s problem and needs to come out, be replaced and repaired. The ironwork is set in a wooden frame and that’s deteriorating as well.”

It’s expected to cost a couple hundred thousand dollars.

You can make a donation on the Old Vanderburgh County Courthouse’s website.

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