Edgar County Courthouse and Hairpin Lofts Honored with Landmarks Illinois Awards

August 21, 2012
Two WJE projects have won prestigious 2012 Landmarks Illinois Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards.

Our work to restore the Edgar County Courthouse in Paris, Illinois, led by Arne Johnson and Ed Gerns, won the Restoration Award. The Romanesque Revival-style Edgar County Courthouse has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1981. Rising 150 feet above grade from the center of the Ohio sandstone building is a galvanized steel and zinc sheet metal-clad, tiered bell and clock tower topped with a copper-clad dome and statue referred to as "Lady Justice." The tower is the focal point of downtown Paris and is visible for miles around Edgar County. WJE was asked to evaluate the stability of Lady Justice, as well as the building in general, due to reports of the statue leaning. After temporarily stabilizing the statue, WJE developed a comprehensive restoration design for the bell tower and statue, which was completed in 2011.

Renae Kwon and Brett Laureys served as exterior facade restoration consultants on the unique Hairpin Lofts building in Chicago. The project was honored with the Rehabilitation Award. The six-story Art Deco-style wedge-shaped building, originally built in 1929, is clad in Indiana limestone and accented with precast concrete spandrels. The original precast concrete parapet had been removed as part of previous repairs to the building. WJE designed repairs to restore the remaining cladding elements and recreated the original precast concrete parapet from historic photographs. Hairpin Lofts is known as a home to artists and families and is a noted example of success in blending mixed-income housing, historic preservation, environmental sustainability, and neighborhood revitalization. The Hairpin Lofts building is Certified LEED Gold.

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