The picturesque, Renaissance Revival Madison County Courthouse, built in 1876, has been undergoing a phased renovation to preserve and maintain its place in Madison County history. Rising high above the town of Winterset, Iowa, the courthouse tower is a landmark for travelers arriving to the town — this iconic structure defines the landscape for miles around Winterset. The courthouse is sited in a quintessential Iowa town square, and each fall it becomes the backdrop for Madison County’s Covered Bridge Festival.
A detailed evaluation of the courthouse’s existing condition was completed, and a master plan was developed that phased the work to allow it to be completed as funds become available. The end result of the project will be a completely restored courthouse that addresses: HVAC improvements, dome tower restoration, roof replacement, exterior stone restoration, and a new service and handicapped accessible entrance.
The most recent restoration project focuses on the clock tower. A study of the dome existing conditions was initially prepared, and a historic paint analysis was performed to determine the original color scheme. With much community involvement, paint colors were selected in hues similar to those of the originals. Deteriorated details were meticulously reproduced to make the building’s galvanized steel skin once again watertight.