Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Inside the Foster County Courthouse Dome

Leo Straley, contractor in charge of restorning the Foster County Courthouse dome...
 Have you ever been inside the Foster County Courthouse Dome in Carrington, ND? Did you write your name on the brick wall? If so, you might see your name in some of the pictures we took today.

Upon discovering all the different names and dates written on the bricks inside the dome, Leo Straley (the contractor in charge of restoring the dome) asked us to help document them by taking pictures and creating a registry of all the names and dates.

Straley thought that people in our community might be interested in this historical aspect of our courthouse... particularly since some of the signatures date back to the early 1900's. In fact, when we go back to take more careful pictures, I'm hoping that we'll find signatures written in 1910 when the courthouse was built!

Just think. Many of the people who signed these bricks in the last 100 years are very likely relatives of folks who live in the Foster County area today! Fascinating history!

After the dome is restored, we'll return tp take a careful picture of every signature and date. In the meantime, take a look at the quick shots that we took today.

Hope you enjoy this aspect of the dome restoration!
#carringtonndnews #carringtonnd #fostercountynd#fostercountycourthouse

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Foster County, ND - Courthouse Dome Renovation - Stained Glass - Part 2

The Foster County Courthouse Dome stained glass artwork without light shining through...
Wow!  I'm really impressed with all the interest in our Foster County Courthouse dome project.  I received many views (over 8,000 so far) with lots of great comments from my visitors on my Carrington News Facebook site!   After reading the comments, I see that I need to explain more clearly what is happening with the dome restoration.  

After a lot of research and input from building experts, the ND Historical Society, and the community, our Foster County Commissioners voted to have the courthouse dome restored.  Leo Straley was awarded the contract, and his pictures show part of the restoration process inside the dome... ABOVE the stained glass artwork.

At some time during the last 100 years, the top of the stained glass had been completely covered inside the dome, therefore not allowing light to pass through to the courthouse below.  When Straley removed the wood covering above the glass and cleaned off the accumulated dust and debris, the light shining through the glass accentuated its true beauty.

When the dome was built in 1910, with lots of light coming in from the large dome windows, it allowed people in the courthouse below to see the stained glass as it was originally intended to be seen.

The picture which accompanies this post shows the stained glass as visitors to the courthouse have seen it for many, many years ... without light beaming through it.  Although still beautiful, I think you might agree that the radiant colors of the glass, aren't truly appreciated without a light source.

The question now is whether to cover the glass back up as it was, to cover it with lights added inside, or to leave the cover off so natural light can show through to the courthouse below.  What do you think is the best solution?
#carringtonndnews #carringtonnews

Foster County, ND - Courthouse Dome Renovation - Stained Glass - Part 1

This is a picture of the floor being removed above the stained glass in the courthouse dome.
Leo Straley, owner of General Roofing & Construction, uncovered the stained glass skylight in the Foster County Courthouse dome this week. He's wondering if anybody knows when this was originally covered.
Notice the beauty of the stained glass as the grime is removed .
This is the old roof which covered the stained glass...being removed... and the light starting to shine through.
As you can see from his pictures, the accumulation of dirt and debris covered the beauty of this 100-year-old-plus work of art. 

The true colors of the glass really start to show up....
When he removed the plywood covering and cleaned the glass, the light which shined through revealed its true beauty. 

At this point, it's undetermined whether the glass will be backlit, covered with plywood, or left for natural light to shine through. Wouldn't it be nice if it could be restored to its original condition? What do you think? 

From inside the courthouse... looking up at the stained glass and murals...
 Such beautiful art, created  over a hundred years ago!