New copper dome planned for Brown County Courthouse

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) - A Brown County landmark is in line to get a much needed facelift. As Local 5's Kris Schuller reports preliminary approval has been given to replace the copper dome of the Brown County Courthouse.

For over 100 years the Brown County Courthouse has stood in downtown Green Bay. And now after more than a century,  Doug Marsh says it's finally time the copper dome was replaced.

“The taxpayers have got their money's worth out of the existing dome and now it is time to replace and invest for future generations,” said Marsh, a facility engineer for Brown County.

This week a county committee gave preliminary approval to a $1.7 million bid to replace the exterior copper dome which sits 120 feet above the ground on top of the historic landmark.

 “The dome is an icon on the skyline of the city, the building is an historic landmark - it's on the National Register of Historic Buildings,” said Marsh.

But while the dome's copper panels have turned dark green and the limestone has stained, Marsh says amazingly this roof does not leak. And replacing the dome now is a preemptive move to keep it that way.

“When your roof leaks you don't have a roof leak, you have a building leak, so we want to prevent that,” Marsh said.

“It's something that has got to be done,” said Supervisor Bernie Erickson, a member of the Brown County Board. “If you're going to own any kind of building, you have to do the maintenance.”

If approved by the County Board next month, in May scaffolding will surround the structure, crews will start replacing copper panels and the dome's clock will see repairs.

“The faces will be restored, the hands replaced and the clock mechanism and controls will be replaced,” said Marsh.

It is the first major work done since $10 million was spent in the early 90s to restore the building's interior.

“If you go inside the building is very historic, it's just a beautiful, beautiful facility,” Erickson said.

And Marsh says very soon the courthouse's iconic copper dome will again shine.

“It's going to look like a brand-new penny,” March said.


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