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Friends of Downtown voice Tippecanoe County Courthouse concerns

Friends of Downtown has some suggestions for construction on the Tippecanoe County Courthouse before the project wraps up next month.

Posted: Oct 18, 2017 4:31 PM
Updated: Oct 18, 2017 4:31 PM

TIPPECANOE CO., Ind. (WLFI) — Friends of Downtown has some suggestions for construction on the Tippecanoe County Courthouse before the project wraps up next month.

Friends of Downtown member William Baugh told county commissioners if the statue on top of the dome represents Lady Justice, she should be blindfolded.

He also feels Columbia Street should be named Justice street.

He wants the county to get it right.

"I can assure you that we are not going to be climbing on top of the courthouse dome to put a blindfold on the statue," said Commissioner Tracy Brown. "But we will be able to provide citizens some sort of idea of what the history is."

Steve Klink was part of the Tippecanoe County Historical Society during courthouse renovations in 1992. This was a debate then as well. He said the statue is still the Goddess of Justice, despite not having a blindfold.

"Apparently, they had different models of Lady Justice, this company that made it and chose to make it without a blindfold," said Klink.

The statue is just one of a few concerns Friends of Downtown wants to bring up. Baugh said the railings and wires around the courthouse bell need to go.

"They serve no purpose other than a distraction," said Baugh.

Brown doesn't disagree.

"I noticed those extensions and thought well those don't look very good," said Brown. "They're painted black and they do stick out and they just don't fit. So, we will be diving into that to try to determine what those are actually for. Are they needed? If they're not, is it too late for us to have those removed?"

There are plans to repaint the bell. Baugh said paint dulls the bell's sound and they should restore it to its original state.

"When that bell was first installed, you could hear the bell all the way to Battle Ground," said Baugh. "I live two blocks away and I can barely hear it."

Brown said he will see what he can do. 

"Lovely thing if you can hear it in Battle Ground, but I'm not so sure that it would be the same way for somebody that resides in the downtown area," said Brown. "But I think he brings up something that is fair for us to look at it and be better informed."

Brown said with every project, he enjoys and encourages public input.

The courthouse construction is expected to wrap up by the end of November.

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