Marshall County Courthouse dome taken down

T-R PHOTO BY ADAM SODDERS -A giant crane hoists the old courthouse dome high in the air Monday afternoon. The dome, estimated at around 28,000 pounds, will be deconstructed and a temporary roof has been put in its place

One of the most striking images to surface in the wake of the July 19 tornado was the top of the Marshall County Courthouse being torn away by the high winds – on Monday afternoon, the damaged dome was removed.

While the courthouse was originally built in the 1880s, its famous dome was replaced in the 1970s during renovations. No matter its age, the courthouse dome had come to be one of the many symbols of Marshalltown.

“No issues, thankfully,” said county buildings and grounds director Lucas Baedke as the dome was gently lowered to the ground. “I was a little anxious this morning. I was happy we had some great weather to get it done.”

A new dome will eventually be constructed atop the courthouse. In the meantime, Baedke said a temporary, watertight roof will protect the top of the building.

“We won’t even look for dome delivery until the first week of August,” he said.

T-R FILE PHOTO - The jagged remains of the courthouse dome sits surrounded by rubble the afternoon of July 19 after the tornado tore through downtown.

The old dome will be deconstructed for timber and scrap metal, Baedke said, but county officials may be able to secure some historic artifacts from inside the structure.

County board of supervisors chairman Steve Salasek was one of the dozens of bystanders watching the monumental structure get hoisted from its seat late Monday afternoon.

“I’m elated to have this thing happen here,” he said.

Salasek said he had recently visited the dome one last time before its removal.

“A lot of people had put their initials in it and some dates,” he said.

Preparatory repair work begins ahead of major courthouse repairs in the month after the tornado.

For more information about the history of the Marshall County Courthouse, visit http://www.co.marshall.ia.us/facilities/courthouse/timeline

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Contact Adam Sodders at (641) 753-6611

or asodders@timesrepublican.com

A hole in the courthouse clock face, courtesy of the tornado, offers a glimpse at downtown Marshalltown.