The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

January 8, 2013

Local historian says courthouse stairs walked by Judge Horton should remain

(Continued)

Not initial plan

Renovators initially planned to build a new elevator next to the current elevator so the old one could operate until the new one was finished. However, Moore, president of Martin & Cobey Construction of Athens, said the architects’ plan used the original courthouse drawings on which to base its renovation plan, and that plan incorrectly reflected the actual location of a wall where the current elevator stands. That means there was less area in which to work than expected. Thus, the old elevator would have to be dismantled before a new one could be installed in the same location.

This would prevent people with disabilities from using the courthouse for three or four months or it would force the county to move court services elsewhere temporarily, which Menefee said would be disruptive and expensive. Lack of an elevator would also mean prisoners would have to be walked up to the second and third-floor courtrooms, which might require additional security.

The only alternative, Moore said, is to begin building the new elevator elsewhere in the building while the old elevator is still operating. He believes the far staircase is not only the only place the new elevator can go without impinging on office space, it is also the most practical because there is already a hole through three floors for the staircase.

“Historic renovation is different than just building a soulless strip mall,” Paysinger said. “The implications of changing the dynamic and meaning of a historic building are dangerous. Limestone County arguably has a poor record in protecting our historic buildings. By removing a beautiful marble stairwell, it ultimately is killing the building by degrees. And when the implications of history are stripped away, what is really left? What will we become if we don’t value and save what we have historically? We will become a place of no heritage, no history, and no direction.

“Communities all around us would love to have our Square. You can feel something special there. Being from Limestone County we often take that for granted. Our leaders need to take a step back and weigh what is lost by removing those stairs just to make a renovation go faster. Judge Horton was brave enough to stand up for fairness and justice. My hope is that our elected leaders today can exhibit similar bravery and insight.”

Text Only
Local News
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee