1884 Seneca County, Ohio Courthouse – Demolished!

1884 Beaux Arts Courthouse, Tiffin, OH By Special Guest Author Kimberly Groth from The Einsel House Scroll down to the bottom of the article for updates! Property Info Price: $9 million to renovate (vs. $15 million to replace) Status: Bids for demolition to open on November 8, 2011 Description: Historic 1884 courthouse that anchors the downtown of Tiffin, Ohio. Built in 1884 and designed by Elijah E. Myers, designer of the state capitols of Michigan, Texas, and Colorado, as well as a territorial capitol for Idaho, and a parliament building for Brazil. Included (for the fourth time) in Preservation Ohio’s list of Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites. First of all, I want to thank Kelly for agreeing to feature this property. Unlike most posts at Old House Dreams, the building featured here is not for sale, but is instead threatened with demolition. No county has ever demolished a courthouse on the National Register of Historic Places, but the Board of Commissioners in Seneca County, Ohio is on route for their county to become the first. Citing local funding cuts in the state budget, the Seneca County Commissioners decided earlier this year to halt previously supported plans for renovation of the county’s 1884 Beaux Arts Courthouse located in downtown Tiffin. The Commissioners have also warned of impending cuts to county services, including layoffs in the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office. But in spite of these budgetary concerns two of the commissioners have apparently decided that the county can afford an estimated $400,000 to tear down its historic courthouse.

19th Century Photo.

Circa 1940.

The courthouse today.

The courthouse today.
The current courthouse – which has been labeled “eminently salvageable” – is structurally sound, and contains many original features, including 90% of the original woodwork, although many of those features have long been hidden behind paneled walls and dropped ceilings. Renovation plans include restoring these original features as well as replacing features that were lost during earlier unsympathetic remodeling – including replacing the current art deco clock tower with a replication of the original tower.

Original Courtroom Ceiling with painted over skylight.

Interior hallway.

Original woodwork.

Original woodwork.
The courthouse has been vacant since 2004, and some local residents have expressed their opinion that since local offices have managed since then in temporary (and non ADA compliant) locations that the current building should be torn down and turned into a park. Using words written by Commissioner Ben Nutter in December 2009, “The problem with this plan is it does nothing to address the failings of our current court buildings. All the residents of Seneca County should understand that by federal law, we must provide access to our court system to anyone and everyone who wants it, and if we fail to do so, a federal judge could order us to build a facility that is in compliance. So tearing down the old courthouse and building nothing or just doing nothing are not viable options because, while they may be cheaper in the short run, they will most assuredly be more expensive in the long term.” Yet today Mr. Nutter and fellow commissioner Jeff Wagner are pursuing a course that would result in precisely “tearing down the old courthouse and building nothing”. Bids for demolition are set to open on November 8th. At a meeting last week, a group of state and local preservationists – who have worked pro-bono for three years on renovation plans for the building – presented the commissioners with several alternatives to demolition. One of these alternatives would allow for the courthouse to be mothballed and maintained for up to five years at no cost to the county. Under this option, the building would be leased for $1 a year to the Seneca County Courthouse and Downtown Redevelopment Group and Tiffin Historic Trust. These groups would assume all liability for the building, and would assume financial responsibility for insurance, security, utilities, and mothballing the building to Federal standards. The lease would also allow the preservation groups to use their own funds for the replacement of over 50 of the courthouse’s windows. The lease could be continued at no cost to county taxpayers until such time as the building is able to put back to public use.

Depiction of renovated courthouse.
Commissioner Jeff Wagner’s response to the this proposal was, “I have not changed my mind. The decision has been made. We’re gonna proceed [with demolition].”

Depiction of renovated courtroom.
I encourage anyone who feels this is wrong to please contact the county commissioners and share your feelings. Email addresses for all three commissioners are available on their website. If you would like to read more about this situation, recent news articles can be found here and here. An editorial regarding the courthouse from last Saturday’s Toledo Blade can be found here. And a detailed history of the entire six year battle over the building is available here. There is also a great deal of information available online regarding the current condition of the courthouse, including this video (note that the video was last updated in 2009, when the then commissioners were supporting renovation). And detailed plans for the proposed renovations are available on the commissioners’ website. Regardless of where you live, if you feel this building is worth saving I urge you to please contact the Seneca County Commissioners. And as a resident of Seneca County, I want to again thank Kelly for allowing me to share the plight of this building, and to thank anyone willing to contact the commissioners to support saving this irreplaceable part of the county’s history.


11/21/11 Update: Sad news for the courthouse. The Seneca County commissioners have awarded the bid to demolish the courthouse for $373,000. Please take 1 minute out of your day to go and sign the petition to give your support in saving this National Register landmark.

1/12/12 Update: Live video feed can be seen on UStream.
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Thank you Kimberly!

If you would like to be a guest author (whether it’s about saving an endangered property, to talk about historic architecture or to showcase historic structures and houses in your town), please contact me for information on how to submit your article.

46 Comments on 1884 Seneca County, Ohio Courthouse – Demolished!

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  1. AvatarTracy says: 102 comments

    Okay, that’s just rude to ruin my day right off the bat like that… Demolition? Grr….. Somebody some where wants there name on the cornerstone of a new courthouse, I think.

    1
  2. AvatarMom & Dad says: 7 comments

    What a tragedy for this community. What a wonderful building. I feel for the ones who make that final decision before the outcome here. Thanks to Kimberly for sharing with us of this situation. There is a lot more of this kind of thing going on all over the country. Shame on us for always thinking bigger and newer is better. Maintenance is a key.

  3. Thanks again to Kelly for this post.

    It’s not linked above, but Preservation Ohio just published an Open Letter to the Seneca County Commmissioners
    on the impact demolition would have on Tiffin’s future.

    (And “Mom & Dad” – you sound so much like my own Mom & Dad that I called them this morning to see if you were them!)

  4. AvatarFC says: 3 comments

    So, this is what the county commissioners might call a “shovel ready” project? Just think, they might then claim that they are creating “green space” instead of a devastating void!

  5. Robt. W.Robt. W. says: 449 comments

    It’s a terrific building. The court house is not in use, so the idea is to demolish it while it sits empty (costing next to nothing) because the temporary replacement buildings which replaced its function are not ADA-compliant? It’s not a good sign when an argument becomes so muddled that it’s difficult to track WHY various parties favor demolition, they just want it torn down, damnit.

    It wouldn’t surprise if Commissioner Jeff “We’re gonna proceed [with demolition]” Wagner’s ancestors wre responsible for the hideous Art Deco clock tower.

  6. AvatarJoan says: 1 comments

    it is history, beauty, and less momey to save than to destroy…So what’s the issue people. If we are all about money then saving the court house is the answer.

  7. AvatarKris says: 50 comments

    I wrote emails but now I wish I would have included that recessions come and go but once this is done, you can never go back. I would hope that they know this. If I get a reply, I will tell them this, but I don’t know if any one person can make any difference at all and talk sense into these people.

  8. AvatarAnn says: 7 comments

    “The people” of Seneca County do NOT want to demolish our Courthouse…..all this is down to 2 commissioners, Ben Nutter & Jeff Wagner. Nutter, on his part, has changed his mind on this topic so many times, it makes one’s head spin. First, he was for demolition. Then, after being presented w/ all the evidence in favor of restoration/renovation, he changed his mind, saying that *this* was the most “fiscally responsible” thing to do. But now, w/ the advent of Wagner taking office here, & the notion that Seneca Co might not be getting as much money (from the state) as they were anticipating, Nutter has now *again* changed his mind, saying that demo is the most responsible thing to do. Just 2 wks ago, he stated there would be no new courthouse built, & that the site of our Courthouse would be left as a “green space”. Suddenly, this past wk, he came up w/ his *own* plan for a new courthouse, worth a measly $3 million, to be saved by the county over the course of 5 yrs. (1) How much will inflation affect the cost of a pre-fab building over the next 5 yrs? (2) What if Seneca Co cannot raise that much money in 5 yrs? (3) The current Courthouse, after renovation/restoration, could easily stand for another 100 yrs, where a new building (made w/ cheap materials) would be lucky to stand for 50 yrs…..&, when you consider that Franklin Co has had to build *2* courthouse buildings in the course of the past 33 yrs (& they certainly can afford better materials than we can), I sincerely doubt that 50 yrs is a very good estimate. Then we get to start over again, w/in our own lifetimes….along w/ all the arguing & nonsense that has led us to this point, all over again. All Nutter wants is to be re-elected as commissioner again in ’12, but w/ as many lies as he’s told us over the past few yrs, I sincerely hope the people of Seneca Co realize that he’s done nothing but LIE to the citizens of this county for the past several yrs – to those on *both* sides of this issue – & will boot him out of office. I just hope it’s not too late for our Courthouse by the time this happens.

    • AvatarKris says: 50 comments

      I’m sorry, Ann, it’s that I had read comments on news sites regarding this and was very discouraged by some of the supposed local’s thoughts on the matter that alluded to “everyone” except a few who wanted to hold onto it. I’m so sorry for what has happened to this building and still can’t believe the demo has now started.

      • AvatarAnn says: 7 comments

        Kris, it’s very easy for an outsider to get the impression that “everyone” wanted this building down, when you consider how biased our newspaper is up here (the publisher is VERY MUCH AGAINST saving the Courthouse). One of the people who was protesting demolition the week before it happened took a count of the people who drove by, who voiced their opinions. For every one person who shouted “tear it down”, there were OVER 20 who gave them the thumbs up, yelling “save the Courthouse”. Meanwhile, our commissioners were telling everyone that the public feelings were 2 to 1 against saving it. Quite a striking difference there.

        Demolition of the building was not supposed to begin until Tuesday, Jan. 10th. A local antiques dealer was in the building on Monday, removing the 1884 Seth Thomas clockworks, & they were told they had “all day” to do it. But, after only a few hours, they were suddenly told to “get out now”, as the order had come through from the commissioners office to “knock a hole in it right now”. Oddly enough, our mayor & others were meeting with the commissioners at that very moment, trying to make a deal for the Courthouse to be taken over by the city, to be turned into a county/municipal joint justice center. But we can’t have THAT, now, can we? So the demo people were told to damage the building immediately, to put an end to any effort to save it. The antiques dealer didn’t even have a chance to remove the entire clockworks – the old pendulum is still up there somewhere, as well as other parts that were removed & saved when the clock was electrified some yrs back….& now, they may be lost forever. Hardly any of the intricate woodwork was saved, & when you stand there, watching them tear that building down, you can see all of it, being demolished & falling down into the rubble of the building. It’s beyond disgusting. Now, even people who were in favor of tearing it down are mad, because so much money is being lost, in the form of valuable old woodwork, hardware, etc, that’s being smashed when it could have been saved, if only the commissioners wouldn’t have been in such a rush to tear it all down. And the cornerstone – it was damaged & smashed in the effort to rip it out of there in a hurry, along w/ the time capsule that was in it. Fortunately, the contents were not damaged or lost, but the copper box was smashed; &, instead of a proper removal of the items, w/ the public getting to watch, proper officials there to honor it all, etc, it got ripped apart w/ pliers in the county maintenance garage. The director of our county museum, to whom the contents are to go, wasn’t even contacted to be there. Fortunately, the Toledo Blade was there, & you can see the video on their website.

        This entire saga has been nothing but a tale of total disrespect by our county commissioners, lies, unanswered questions, & political manipulation. We only hope that other counties will learn from this in the future, & not let this happen to them!! As for us, the entire county has already lost.

        • AvatarRonal E. Young says: 1 comments

          I live in Berea, Ohio, but I feel the demolition of this historic landmark affects us all. Money could have been found to save the building. Money can always be found. To find out why it was demolished, follow the money trail of demolition expenditures and subsequent plans to redevelop the public space and see who profits. I rather doubt it will be a public park for long, but rather an overpriced, cheaply constructed substitute courthouse that ‘meets the needs of the people’ and lines the pockets of developers. My advice is to dump the commissioner form of county government, as we have done in Cuyahoga County, and replace it with a more democratic form. Again, follow the money and prosecute as needed. Congratulations to Tiffin, the only city in Ohio which has demolished a county courthouse on the National Register of Historic Places. What a shame!

  9. Avatarshelly says: 99 comments

    Some one please save this wonderful building!

  10. AvatarMike Workman says: 1 comments

    I am interested in purchasing the interior woodwork and furnishings from this courthouse. Does anyone know who received the demolition bid so I can contact them?

  11. Robt. W.Robt. W. says: 449 comments

    According to this report (with link to a live webcam), it’s “being torn down today”: http://historichouseblog.com/2012/01/03/a-shame-courthouse-on-national-register-in-being-torn-down-in-seneca-county-oh/

    An update from another source notes that demolition has been stayed, briefly: http://www.newstalkradiowhio.com/ap/ap/ohio/tear-down-day-for-125-year-old-courthouse-in-ohio/nGDqj/

  12. PLEASE tell me that some one came in a salvaged as much as could be … seemed pretty clear to me that they were “hell bound” to demolish it … at least were some things saved ????

    • AvatarEzra Hall says: 7 comments

      I hope so because that woodwork was amazing! Can’t figure out why someone would want to destroy such a beautiful building!

      • AvatarEzra Hall says: 7 comments

        From what I have learned a few things have been taken out but the rest is dying with the building

        • AvatarAnn says: 7 comments

          The owner of B&B Demolition has had the unmitigated audacity to state publicly that he’s removed many of the door hinges (estimated value, about $2,000 EACH) to use *in his own home*! This is downright CRIMINAL!!!!!

  13. AvatarMelodie McLean says: 1 comments

    So very sad that destroying this building would be an option at all. There are almost always funds that can be found to make things work out. I would be very upset to think that my grandchildren and their grandchildren couldn’t see this piece of valuable history and artistic detail to a bygone era.

  14. AvatarRick Haller says: 1 comments

    Ben Nutter was an idiot we he attended TU when I was at Heidleberg. This only reinforces my belief he is an IDIOT.

  15. Avatarite says: 1 comments

    what about all the condemed houses in Tiffin, why didnt we tear those down instead?

  16. AvatarLindsay says: 1 comments

    The equipment is at the front door; the steps are already gone….
    Thank you for the pictures on this website. I have bookmarked it so that I can remember the building.

  17. Avatartoscar says: 56 comments

    ***

    Well, it is a vacant lot…..so long beautiful building.

    It is unbelievable that in the year 2012 not only was this building demolished, but it appears that none of the architectural treasures were salvaged!

    Hinges?…..a few sets of door hinges?

    What are they smoking in Seneca?
    ***

    • oldhousedreamsoldhousedreams says: 693 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      It’s not gone yet, but does have a gigantic side off of it. And yes, things were salvaged. The trim around the doors, the doors themselves, the bell thing (forget what it is called) in the tower. Still, it is sad that there are still really stupid people in the world that do not care about the impact they have on history by just one decision.

  18. AvatarSuzanne says: 1 comments

    As a resident of Tiffin, I can honesty say that most of us are heartbroken at the loss of our courthouse. The fact that salvage crews weren’t allowed to remove valuable woodwork, etc. shows clearly how little our *leaders* respect our history. This entire matter has been a dirty, dishonest campaign from the beginning. Tiffin is known for it’s historic homes and buildings, but at this point I’d have to say that the best of the city is gone. Who stands to gain from this demolition? I’d say someone is lining his/her wallet quite well. A few months ago they threatened to sell the Historical Society building and all of the contents. I believe that was a ploy to take our attention from the courthouse in order to run in and rip it apart. I love Tiffin but cannot say I have any faith whatsoever in those who govern here. Yes, we’re angry! Will we forget this? NEVER! Our history is so very important and when we lose control over what we value, the citizens will fight back. We fought and lost. The bitterness will leave this city changed forever.

    • Robt. W.Robt. W. says: 449 comments

      “Tiffin is known for it’s historic homes and buildings, but at this point I’d have to say that the best of the city is gone.”

      Agreed. It’s a core loss and a disgraceful testament to the local leadership.

      I’d advise not being distracted by thwarted salvage attempts: harvesting a few crumbs from the table is not to be mistaken for a success and only draws attention away from the real story and its real villains. Buildings are more than parts, and parts saved as relics will never be buildings, nor will Frankenstein buildings erected using odd leftover bits of this and that ever remotely replace what was lost.

      • AvatarAnn says: 7 comments

        The items that they did manage to salvage (not much) was just a few pieces of woodwork, & only SOME of the 1884 Seth Thomas clockworks – the people who were removing it were chased out of the building before they could get all of it. Why? Because, although they were told they had all of Monday to get it out, at about 1p, they were told to get out of the building immediately, cos although demolition wasn’t supposed to start until Tuesday, word was sent over from the commissioners office that they were to “knock a hole in it NOW.” Why is that? Because the mayor of our town was at the commissioners office at that very moment, trying to make a deal (from donations pledged from the public) to buy the building, & turn it into a joint county/municipal justice center. This would have wrecked the commissioners plans to destroy the building, so demolition was ordered to be started before that meeting even ended. That is how ruthless & deceitful our commissioners are.

        Someone posted this video, taken directly from the video minutes of a recent commissioners meeting, on YouTube. It shows pretty clearly the mentality we’ve had to fight against in Seneca County for a long, long time. It’s beyond disgusting – it’s illegal:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LVXs2uMKwY&feature=g-upl&context=G20d3bdbAUAAAAAAAAAA

        • AvatarJack says: 5 comments

          Although the courthouse has not been saved, can those two county commissioners be charged with criminal damage and/or abuse of office? Maybe I missed something, but didn’t county residents only vote down extra funds for the building–that’s completely different from approving the actual removal of the courthouse, especially with viable plans in place for saving it as described above by Kimberly Groth. Why did the county judges not prevent its destruction? Someone needs to establish whether there was any criminal collusion to subvert the voters’ intent, maybe by following the money. I cannot believe something this monstrous could have been carried out at the behest of just two commissioners. The irreversible destruction of the county’s historical heritage achieved absolutely nothing and undoubtedly will cost taxpayers a lot over the long term.

        • AvatarKris says: 50 comments

          Ann, I hope those commissioners are voted out. But it always seems the same incumbent gets elected.

          My town’s courthouse in Medina just got a recent renovation on its clock tower. There was some difficulty in finding the money it seems but they were able to do it. There would be no way they’d tear it down.

          The Tiffin courthouse still makes me ill. Were there any repercussions to this? Especially to chasing out the salvagers so they could knock a hole in it while the mayor was trying to work out a deal. Just rotten!

  19. AvatarSHELLY says: 99 comments

    I am so sorry to hear about this horrible incident. Perhaps with some luck in the future demolitions of beautiful historical buildings can somehow be prevented.

  20. AvatarSHELLY says: 99 comments

    I just looked at the video and this is absolutely the most frustrating and horrfic situation. By the way I am not even from this area but I applaud you all in your tenacity and hope a situation like this will never be permitted in the future. All we can do is keep educating the community as well as political offcials about the importance of historical value (buildings) in a town.

  21. AvatarShane says: 44 comments

    Greed and callousness. Mainly greed.

  22. AvatarKaren says: 77 comments

    I have just read about this for the first time, as I have come across this story on the Old House Dreams web site. My heart is sick with grief from watching the demolition video. As a lover of historic architecture, I view this as a huge loss of a beautiful building. It is appalling, to say the least. I can not believe these elected officials allowed this wonderful building to be destroyed. I live in the South and when we lose buildings as beautiful as this one was (from disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, or fires), we are saddened deeply, as so many of our beautiful structures were burned to the ground during the civil war. The destruction of this magnificent building was a true crime, as I would bet that someone got a payoff to demolish that building so someone else could buy the property and put up a business building. Such a pity that greed prevailed over respect.

  23. AvatarGlenda Campbell says: 1 comments

    Read the books about Richard Nickel, an ardent photographic preservationist, and him trying to save Louis Sullivan buildings in the Chicago area during the late 50’s, early 60’s when “urban renewal” cleared a lot of them out for…..what?….low income housing or empty lots. He would have to make deals with the demolition companies to remove a few token pieces of ornament and then would store them in warehouses just so the future could have a bit of history on the buildings that were gone. He was a tireless fighter, ultimately dying as a result of salvaging in the Chicago Stock Exchange building as it was undergoing demolition. A fighter til the end.

    Losing this courthouse is just irresponsible – and the ones on the city commission that allowed or pushed this demolition: SHAME ON YOU.

  24. AvatarJames Hepperly says: 1 comments

    I have traveled and visited many towns, villages and big citys through out this country, so many towns took pride and kept them up each year and they are a beautiful part of their town. It’s sad to see I town I grew up in could not take the time or have the pride to keep up the court house, it had beautiful wook working and a long history. People don’t seem take pride in their community or heritage today, and bottom line, Tiffin has made poor decisions over several years bringing in business , keeping historical landmarks properly maintained, or repairs to the Huss Street dam that was damaged in the big flood. Poor decision making my the leaders of Tiffin. I read not long ago, ” were a college town”. Big deal. But don’t bring your families here to raise, we dont have jobs unless you want to work at your local pizza joint, gas station, bar, bank. Poor choices has hurt Tiffin and I see will continue for many years.

  25. AvatarJoseph Smith says: 1 comments

    WOW. This is just about the best example imaginable of complaints I’ve heard over the years from both Americans and foreigners’ stereotypes of Americans: “Americans don’t know, don’t value and don’t care about their history, heritage or civic symbols of lasting value”. One can complain about “corruption” and “money trails benefiting a few” but this happened as a result our democratic system. If enough people had stood up to oppose this it wouldn’t have happened. Congradulations Tiffin, the first ever demolition of a courthouse on the National Historic Register. Is nothing sacred? Of course you realize these kinds of civic-art structures will never again be built in America, and definitely not in Tiffin. How sad.

    I couldn’t make this up if it wasn’t true. I have seen this behavior elsewhere: in Tajikistan. The ruling clan there is tearing down the most sturdy buildings in the city (built by German POWs during WWII) and replacing with shoddy, shiny new ones for the benefit of the wealthy few, and at the expense of what little modern architectural heritage they have. Congradulations Tiffin, again. You seem to be behaving in manner befitting an autocratic, corrupt post-Soviet government in Central Asia.

  26. AvatarAnn says: 7 comments

    Of our three commissioners, two of them were voted out of office (Nutter & Sauber – Sauber had experienced a change of heart, & had become a supporter of saving the Courthouse). The third remaining commissioner, Wagner, is not seeking re-election, much to our delight.

    There is another video that is very disturbing, also posted by the same person who posted the video tour of the Courthouse. As you watch this video, the commissioners are (from L to R) Ben Nutter (in favor of demolition), Dave Sauber (in favor of restoration), & Jeff Wagner (who apparently gave the order to “knock a hole in it”):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LVXs2uMKwY

    Listen closely to Nutter’s remarks at the end of the video.

    • AvatarKris says: 50 comments

      Thanks for the video, I get the impression Nutter was being sarcastic because he knew he didn’t have 5M but not good in a formal meeting, though. I am glad the people woke up and voted him out and although Sauber had a change of heart, he was still involved. Wagner probably saw the writing on the wall and is not seeking re-election and won’t suffer the indignity of being voted out. Their names are forever besmirched in Tiffin’s history as responsible for the historic Courthouse’s destruction under their tenure. What a legacy. Nice to see the book, I’d like to order one, probably will get my blood pressure up.

      Has anything been built there since? What are the plans for the property? Still an awful shame!

  27. AvatarAnn says: 7 comments

    Also, while I’m thinking about it, a local author, Lisa Swickard, has written a wonderful book, called “Decommissioned: The Final Days of the 1884 Seneca County Courthouse”, which is in the process of taking orders prior to publication. I’ve seen an advance copy of the book, & it is gorgeous & sad. For more information on this book, which is sure to become a treasure for everyone who loved our Courthouse, as well as those who want to educate others about the importance of historic preservation, visit Lisa’s website at:

    http://www.virginalleypress.com/

    • AvatarKris says: 50 comments

      Just wondering, not that it matters now, but it could in what is put there. Did anyone ask for what the estimate was for a new courthouse vs. restoring the old? I’m sure it was addressed but curious. I saw some comments on the video you posted that the price is still going up on what they’re planning on building there when they could have spent 5 on the historic courthouse renovation. Just how much money did the former commissioners receive out of their dirty deal?

  28. AvatarWill says: 66 comments

    What destroys these old buildings mainly is updated codes of structural and systems requirements, handicap access and so forth. Retrofitting a building of any size to meet current “standards” is costly, but on something this size it becomes astronomical. So rather than use what was once called “common” sense and grandfather the building as historic and only need to address structural issues and cosmetic concerns and rehab the place at a reasonable cost, the local governments act like tyrants in conjunction with FEDERAL regulators and a stunning piece of American History is destroyed for eternity.

    Sickening.

  29. AvatarLinTK says: 7 comments

    The building was already handicap accessible. It had a ground floor entrance, & an elevator. We had tours of the building at one point, to show people what good condition the building was in, & we did have a few people come in, who were in wheelchairs. Accessibility was never a problem.

  30. AvatarTom Sawyer says: 1 comments

    Thank goodness! Seneca County will soon have an ADA compliant courthouse with 21st century plumbing, electrical upgrades, computer/data services and modern safety features such as fire suppression equipment and facilitative emergency exits. Modern steps and elevators will be to code and hazardous materials used in construction and remodeling will be no more.

    The stone originally used in construction of the building began sloughing off decades ago and the design of entry steps made one think climbing gear might be in order.

    Some buildings can be remodeled. The design and materials used in the construction of the original building were not included in that group.

  31. AvatarBob C says: 1 comments

    Visited Tiffin today and I have to say that the new building is an absolute eyesore. It seems to magnify the indignity of tearing down a (savable!) beautiful old building, that they replaced it with something that has the aesthetic appeal of a Wal-Mart with a wildly inappropriate approximation of mansard roof and cupola slapped on top as an afterthought. Truly awful. I feel so sorry for your town and the fact that it appears to be solely the ego and entrenched heels of the commissioners that prevented the renovation of the grand 1884 peoples’ temple of justice, that at the time of its original opening was credulously intended by officials to serve the county for all time.

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