Finishing Touch

Campbellsville Industries
gets contract for courthouse cupola

New cupola will be built offsite,
put in place in September

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

(June 2010) – Campbellsville Industries, one of the nation’s foremost experts in steeples and cupolas, recently was awarded a contract for $259,991 to rebuild the Jefferson County Courthouse cupola. The Campbellsville, Ky.-based company is one of only a handful of companies in the country that can do the specialized work.
A fire broke out on May 20, 2009, and engulfed the 150-year-old belltower and destroyed the roof over the third-floor Circuit Courtroom. Workers had to remove the 24,000-pound belltower just days after the fire.

Courthouse Cupola rendition

Rendering provided

A Kentucky company
that specializes in
cupolas is building the
final rooftop piece
that will eventually
adorn the Jefferson
County Courthouse
renovation as a result
of a May 2009 fire.

Campbellsville Industries, nicknamed “The Steeple People....Plus” has more than 17,000 installations located throughout the nation and in at least six foreign countries. Not only does the company make steeples, it also makes ballustrades, picket railing, baptistries, bulletin boards, clocks, cupolas, columns, cornices, crosses, domes, finials, louvers, towers, urns and weather vanes.
Some of the company’s more recent and well-known projects include the four corner cupolas on the West Baden Springs Hotel in French Lick, Ind., and the new copper Hobokan, N.J., Ferry Terminal Clock Tower built to replicate the 1941original.
“We do both historical reconstruction and new construction,” said Campbellsville Industries’ Dave Manning.
For the Jefferson County Courthouse, Manning said the actual cupola will be fabricated at the factory. When ready, the pieces will be transported to Madison, where they will be hoisted onto the roof of the building and secured together.
“The cupola is being fabricated now and is expected to be set in place during the first part of September,” said Jefferson County Commissioner Julie Berry.
Indianapolis-based American StructurePoint is the architectural engineering firm leading the rebuild project. The company, which designs everything from bridges and highways to county buildings and banks, became involved in the courthouse project immediately after the fire. Its forensics department arrived on site the next day to conduct a structural analysis and help assess fire damage.
The company designed the plans for the roof and the cupola rebuild. It worked closely with historic interests, including Historic Madison Inc. and Arch Trio, to follow historic preservation guidelines. The courthouse is a major building in Madison’s National Historic Landmark District designation.
Rob Creviston of StructurePoint said because the cupola on the courthouse has actually burned more than once, the replica will not be made of wood. Instead, it will be made of either an aluminum product or a fiberglass reinforced polyester resin, or FRP, that duplicates wood. Both materials are noncombustible and low maintenance.
The cupola will contain four clocks with 12-inch Roman numerals. Creviston said the previous clocks had eight-inch numbers. Electric chimes will replace the bell.
Berry said the historic bell was damaged in the fire and commissioners decided not to rehang it in the new belltower.
Currently, the interior of the courthouse is going through mold remediation. Berry said commissioners are accepting quotes and are nearly ready to let bids to do the mold removal. She said they plan to let bids for the interior of the building by this summer. Plans to add a new 10,000-square-foot expansion on the southside of the building were quashed recently when the Jefferson County Council voted against any expansion.
“If the idea were to be taken up again, it would have to come from the council,” said Berry. “It was a close vote.”

Back to June 2010 Articles.



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