Century-old Dubuque courthouse statues being refurbished
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Workers have been spending the last two months refurbishing seven statues that for more than a century have adorned the Dubuque County Courthouse.
Giese Architectural Roofing Co. and Fred Jackson Tuckpointing have been working to rehab the statues, the Telegraph Herald reported .
“It’s a source of pride for us,” said Dan Leibfried, general manager of Giese. “I would say we’re really proud to be able to do this.”
The statue refurbishments are part of a larger courthouse renovation project, said Randy Klauer, president of Klauer Construction Co., the general contractor overseeing the project. The statue refurbishments weren’t originally planned, but were added to the project after crews saw how damaged the statues were.
The sheet zinc used to make the statues had deteriorated and birds had gotten inside the statues.
Fred Jackson workers have removed the old paint off the statues and cleaned them. They’ve put rubberized paint inside the statues to keep water from leaking in. Giese workers are rebuilding the exteriors of the statues with sheet zinc and stainless still. The statues’ seams and cracks are being filled with an industrial aluminum body filler.
The statues were original to the courthouse, which was finished in 1891, said Chris Soeder, facilities maintenance superintendent for Dubuque County.
“It’s part and parcel of the whole ambiance that’s generated by this building in downtown Dubuque,” Soeder said. “It’s one of the major features of the courthouse.”
Soeder estimates repairs will cost about $125,000. Since the work wasn’t originally budgeted in the project, the county is working with Heritage Works to raise funds for the repairs.
The statues are expected to be re-installed this summer, Leibfried said.
Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com