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Lincoln’s Courthouse to be Restored

Thursday, April 11, 2013

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Illinois officials are seeking bids to repaint and restore a 168-year-old courthouse in Metamora, IL, where Abraham Lincoln practiced law.

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency has invited bids to restore the decorative cupola and related appurtenances of the Metamora Courthouse.

Bids are due April 26. A mandatory pre-bid meeting will be held April 17.

Lincoln's Circuit

Constructed in 1845 of locally fired bricks, the Greek Revival-style structure is reportedly one of just two courthouses still standing in which Abraham Lincoln practiced law.

Metamora Courthouse

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency invites bids to restore historic elements on the Metamora Courthouse, where Abraham Lincoln argued cases for 12 years.

As a circuit lawyer for 12 years, Lincoln handled more than 70 cases at the courthouse, including cases of slave harboring and murder, according to the Village of Metamora’s website.

The courthouse remained in service until the Woodford County seat was relocated to Eureka, IL, in 1894, according to reports. The town used the space as a community center until 1921, when it was restored and became a museum.

The first floor now serves as a museum of local history and Illinois Frontier Law, while the second-floor courtroom and judicial chambers have been restored to their 1850 appearance, according to Wikipedia.

The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

Project Details

The project includes repainting metal and wood components of the courthouse cupola. The upper sphere, decorative scroll, and rod assemblies are fashioned from copper and are part of the original construction. The lower sphere, which is larger in size, was reconstructed during a 1989 project.

The contractor should use paint colors that correlate with historic documentation, according to project details.

Courthouse repairs

The project includes repainting metal and wood components of the courthouse cupola.

All exposed dome surfaces are to be carefully cleaned and left free of loose or peeling paint before coating application. Exposed metal will be thoroughly cleaned of loose corrosion, dirt, paint and debris.

The railing, terne metal dome, and various decorative metal surfaces, including a large vane sphere, will receive a single coat of an oil-based rust-inhibitive metal primer and two finish coats of low luster or satin acrylic. Existing copper assemblies are not to be disturbed, the documents said.

In addition, the wood lantern, louver tower, and pedestal assemblies (also part of the 1989 reconstruction) as well as the window assemblies will be coated with a single coat of exterior-grade, oil-based primer and two finish coats of exterior-grade, low-luster acrylic.

The dome and cupola have been tested to confirm the presence of lead-based paint; results are expected in mid-April.

Reported by Paint BidTracker, a construction reporting service devoted to identifying contracting opportunities for the coatings community.

Get a free trial of Paint BidTracker now.


Tagged categories: Bidding; Contractors; Contracts; Government contracts; Historic Preservation

Comment from Catherine Brooks, (4/11/2013, 11:51 AM)

Let's hope all the bidders follow RRP given that tourists will be inside and outside for years to come.

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