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Courthouse spire brings some ‘normalcy’

T-R PHOTO BY JOE FISHER — The Marshall County Courthouse spire was replaced Friday morning. The spire matches designs from a 1976 rebuild. More work is needed to complete the courthouse’s rebuild.

A few dozen people gathered, many in the warmth of their vehicles, around the Marshall County Courthouse to watch a new spire placed atop the building on Friday morning.

Temperatures in the 40s chilled the event but the wind did not prevent the construction crew from placing the spire as it did on Wednesday.

The dome was set in place last spring. Designs for the rebuild match designs from a 1976 rebuild, according to buildings and grounds director Lucas Baedke.

“It’s one of the last big puzzle pieces to make this all come together,” he said. “The building hasn’t had a spire for 27 months so it’s nice.”

More work is needed to complete the rebuilding process including metal work, installing fiberglass and painting.

T-R PHOTO BY JOE FISHER — Onlookers gathered around the Marshall County Courthouse to see the new spire placed Friday morning. Many watched from their vehicles as the spire was lifted by crane to the top of the courthouse.

“It’s a long process,” Baedke said. “Everything we’re doing, we’re doing well and we’re doing right. That takes time.”

The roof of the courthouse received some damage during the derecho in August. Baedke said the insurance company is still evaluating the damage but he believes it is “pretty significant.”

“This project’s full of setbacks. Might as well add that one on the list,” he said.

The courthouse, located at 1 E. Main Street, was originally built in 1886. Architect John C. Cochrane designed the building. He also designed the Iowa State Capitol building in Des Moines.

Jerry Kinney was one of many residents observing the spire placement from the sidewalk by the courthouse.

“I wanted to see them put it up,” he said. “It’s part of getting back to a little bit of normalcy.”

Contact Joe Fisher at 641-753-6611 or jfisher@timesrepublican.com

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