A crew from Selinsky Force used a crane to return the decorative cupola to back to its rightful home atop the Tuscarawas County Courthouse. The structure was removed earlier this year as part of a $1.6 million courthouse restoration project. (Photo by Garry Daniels, Tusco TV)
New Philadelphia, Ohio - The decorative cupola removed earlier this year from the top of the Tuscarawas County Courthouse has been returned to its rightful place.
On Monday, a crowd of onlookers gathered in the building's back parking lot as a crane hoisted the restored structure back to its home on top of the courthouse dome.
The cupola was removed last spring as part of a $1.6 million courthouse restoration project that included structural and lighting improvements and the replacement of the dome’s copper roofing.
Tuscarawas County Economic Development Director Scott Reynolds was on scene for the big lift Monday and gave an update on the project, which is now in its final stages.
“Today, we just got to the point where the dome itself is finished to the point where the cupola can be reset. They’ll get it up there and have it all bolted down, and we’ll return the eagle to its resting place up there, get it aimed in the right direction and lock it down,” he said.
Reynolds said the next step will be to remove the scaffolding and finish installing the new, LED lighting that will replace the incandescent bulbs and spotlights that had previously illuminated the courthouse. He noted that the new lighting will be much more energy-efficient and can also be programmed to emit different colors for special occasions.
Reynolds said the work is expected to wrap up shortly after Thanksgiving.
“It’s come along pretty well. The timing has been good. We’re working within just a couple weeks of our original timeframe,” he said.
Reynolds said the Tuscarawas County Commissioners are planning a ceremony to mark the project’s completion that will also include the dedication of a time capsule that will be placed somewhere inside the dome.
“It’ll either rest in the cupola or in the dome in some section and in 50 years they’ll get a chance to open it,” he said.
The project is being overseen by Coon Restoration & Sealants of Louisville as the general contractor along with subcontractor Nimen Sheet Metal of Canton handling the metalwork.
“They did a really nice job,” Reynolds said. “They had to rework some of the metal of the cupola. They put in a new standing-seam copper roof on it. The old roof was kind of a flat-seam roof, and to be honest, this looks like it goes a lot better with the original architecture of the roof. It looks like they were kind of done at the same time by the same people, which I think makes it a little bit more of a cohesive picture.”
Selinsky Force of Canton was recruited to remove and reinstall the cupola using a 300-foot crane.
STACEY CARMANY, TUSCO TV