Old County Courthouse reopens with new improvements

Officials celebrate renovations at 132-year-old historic building

By Don Coble don@claytodayonline.com
Posted 8/3/22

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – With the snip of an oversized pair of scissors, county and city officials were eager to be the first to see the newly renovated Courthouse in the Historic Triangle on July …

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Old County Courthouse reopens with new improvements

Officials celebrate renovations at 132-year-old historic building

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – With the snip of an oversized pair of scissors, county and city officials were eager to be the first to see the newly renovated Courthouse in the Historic Triangle on July 28.

According to the Clerk of Courts Office, the 1890 Historic Courthouse is just one of four in Florida built before 1900 that are still standing and in use today. In 1889, the Board of County Commissioners awarded Architect A.E. McClure the design contract for a sum of $269. W. A. McDuff was awarded the $13,215 building contract, and construction took two years to complete. The architecture combines Italianate and Second Renaissance design elements featuring a distinctive round-arched entrance, decorative brickwork, cast iron columns, and decorative metal cornices.

The exterior renovation work was completed by E. Vaughan Rivers Inc. and included replacing the roof, installing a new attic beam for support, and freshening up the paint and windows. Work began in December of 2021, and the finishing touches were added just last week.

The latest round of renovations included replacing the roof and ceiling beams, as well as upgrades to the exterior.

In addition to being a landmark, the courthouse serves a functional purpose as the home to Teen Court.

“Here, teens are the solution, not the problem,” Clerk Tara Green said. “We are proud to be just a handful of programs in the country with a home of our own, now made even better thanks to this renovation.”

The county received two grants from the Division of Historical Resources to pay for the renovations.

Major interior renovations were completed in 2005, which included removal of the deteriorating walls and ceiling tiles, updating the electrical wiring, installing new plumbing, and refinishing any original features that could be saved, the clerk’s office said.

In continuous use since 1890, this structure served as the seat of local government until 1973 when the new courthouse was completed at 825 North Orange Ave.

County commissioner Kristen Burke called the courthouse “a cherished piece of Clay County history. We are all so excited to see the courthouse fully remodeled. This courthouse and the rest of the Historic Triangle are a source of pride and passion for our community.”

Gene Price, Clay County Deputy Director of Facilities, thanked the outstanding work done by the Dasher-Hurst design team and the contractor E. Vaughan Rivers Inc., whose family has ties to the courthouse.

“Their passion for this project led them to ensure the perfection of every detail,” Price said. “Just as there are many layers to this historic building - the original red brick, the stucco applied in the 50s, and now the freshly painted exterior- there are also many layers of history and local connections to the courthouse.”

To learn more about Clay County’s 1890 Historic Courthouse and the Historic Triangle, visit http://archives.clayclerk.com/historical-triangle-site/map-directions/.

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