Repairs to Westmoreland courthouse will require major work
By Rich Cholodofsky
Published: Friday, Sept. 6, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
With workers finishing up $438,000 worth of repairs to the exterior of the Westmoreland County Courthouse, it's time to go back and redo inside work that taxpayers first paid for in 2009.
Throughout the years, problems have plagued any repair project involving the building's distinctive golden dome.
Leaks in the dome damaged two courtrooms on the upper level of the courthouse building in downtown Greensburg, which was built in 1906 for about $1.3 million.
Four years ago, repairs were made because chunks of plaster were falling from the ceilings and paint was peeling from walls.
But officials never fixed the leaky roof, so the courtrooms will have to be repaired again.
“They never repaired where the water was coming from, so we have to do it over again,” said Greg McCloskey, public works director. “That was a different board of commissioners and a different public works director.”
He said there are no cost estimates for the interior repairs, slated for the spring.
Four years ago, the county paid more than $55,000 to restore the ornate plaster and 22-karat, gold-leaf finish in the courtrooms.
In the latest project, crews from Raimondo Construction in Greensburg have spent five months repairing the outside of the building listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
McCloskey said the restoration included filling holes in the building's joints that allowed water to seep into the fourth-floor courtrooms.
In 1978, commissioners bragged that a $771,000 replacement of the courthouse dome would last forever.
Several years after the project was finished, large pieces of the terra-cotta dome began to flake, falling to the street below.
The dome was replaced again in 1993 with a cast-aluminum replica of the original for more than $2.3 million.
With the latest exterior repairs complete, the dome will be seen in a new light — and in several colors. Colored film has been installed to cover five spotlights that illuminate the dome.
The film allows a full spectrum of colors, such as green and pink. Seven colors were purchased.
“We can make it any color,” Commissioner Charles Anderson said. “But I don't know how far it'll go.”
The dome is bathed in an orange hue this month to signify hunger awareness and children's cancer awareness, Anderson said.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Judge to Cook Township drug suspect: Get new friends
- Westmoreland man’s walk in Niagara Falls State Park wasn’t allowed, police say
- Homicide charge added in Derry death
- Murrysville police will get raises in 5-year pact
- Pittsburgh man charged with threat to witness
- Mt. Pleasant board to vote on contract with Volz
- Greensburg Salem raising funds for fitness equipment
- Greensburg woman publishes memoir of growing up in Fayette in ‘The Girl Factory’
- Scottdale council to meet Monday
- Yukon shelter group at odds with former leader
- Tentative plea deal with Westmoreland drivers reached in turnpike toll fraud