The Pulaski County Courthouse has made Indiana Landmarks’ annual 10 Most Endangered List. Last December, county officials unveiled a preliminary plan that involved demolishing the 1895 courthouse and adding onto the Justice Center.
Todd Zeiger, the director of Indiana Landmarks’ northern regional office, says the goal is to focus attention on the situation, as well as possible solutions. “The Pulaski County Courthouse is a really key landmark in the community and one of Indiana’s cherished historic courthouses,” he says, “and it’s one that we believe has a long life ahead of it, if there’s some investment put into renovation and upgrades.” Zeiger feels the building’s maintenance, security, and accessibility issues can all be addressed without demolition.
Indiana Landmarks has offered to pay Rowland Design to create an updated plan, but Zeiger says that process is still in its early stages. “We need to connect with the county leadership and ferret out some next steps on who would be involved in the conversation,” he explains. “It’s not just Landmarks coming in and saying, ‘Here’s the plan.’ We want to be collaborative with the users of the building and of course the county leadership who makes the decisions.”
During Monday’s joint county council and commissioners meeting, Commissioner Jerry Locke said county officials are also working on an alternate plan. “The addition to the Justice Center, that would’ve been in a perfect world, which we are not going to have the money to do,” he said. “But we’re coming up with a plan B that’s going to be able to almost accomplish the same thing with a lot less money.”
Locke said that plan will be discussed during an upcoming commissioners meeting, while Zeiger expects to meet with the council and commissioners within the next month.