Saturday, June 5, 2010

1861 Colusa courthouse gets improved

California’s second oldest still-standing county courthouse will soon get some $250,000 in improvements to its interior.

Improvements to the Colusa County courthouse include a new heating system and asbestos abatement that will force some interior changes to the historic courtroom and offices first built in 1861.
The "green" improvements will allow the county to remove the swamp cooling system from the Hall of Records and the row of tiny box air conditioning units from the windows along the west side of the courthouse, which has long-given one of the oldest courthouses in the state a shoddy appearance, county officials said.

"It won't be completely energy efficient," said Supervisor Kim Dolbow Vann. "Because the courthouse is an historic landmark, we can't modernize the windows. But it will still save us a fortune on heating and air conditioning costs."
--Tri-County News
The $250,000 includes about $45,000 for removing the asbestos, a process that will, unfortunately, require lowering the high-ceiling in what was once the district attorney’s office...

The DA moves to new offices in the Wintun Building on Fifth St., a new structure whose construction was paid for casino impact money.

A study in the 1970s linked asbestos to lung and esophageal cancer. Its removal from public buildings was ordered.

The exterior of the courthouse, however, will remain largely unchanged, apart from some cosmetic freshening up.

Work is expected to begin immediately to avoid the hottest part of the summer, which in Colusa County, located in northern Sacramento Valley, often means temperatures in the low 100s.

The building houses the courts and the archives, it also provides a thumbnail sketch of Colusa County history.

And, yes, I did know you would ask, "So, if Colusa County’s is only the second oldest courthouse in continuous use in California, where is the oldest?"

That would be in Mariposa County.

If you happen to be, like me, something of a courthouse freak, here is a useful link that will give you official photos of all of California’s courthouses.


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