October 14, 2015 Edition

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The Lawrence County Courthouse in Walnut Ridge has been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places. Officially listed Sept. 28, the building will undergo several renovations using grant money through the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program.
TD Photo ~ Megan Heyl

Courthouse on national register,
projects planned for renovation

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

The Lawrence County Courthouse was recently nominated by the State Review Board of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program to the National Register of Historic Places.

Built in 1965, this is the first year the courthouse has been eligible for this program, which not only recognizes its historic value, but also makes available several grant opportunities for repairs and maintenance through the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program.

County Judge Dale Freeman said the county has already received a $130,000 grant, which will be used to repair the roof using a rubber installation. The rubber roof came recommended over a tar roof, which is what the building currently has.

Freeman said he is hopeful that additional grant money could be awarded in the future for renovations on the doors and windows. He also added that a $50,000 grant is expected to be awarded in the near future to work on the air conditioning and heating units.

After the review of five proposals, the county will hire Cromwell to draw up the plans for the roof job, which will be let for bids once approved by the state. Cromwell also did the preliminary work on the roof.

The Lawrence County Courthouse, which was designed by Erhart, Eichenbaum, Rauch and Blass, features several design choices in the New Formalism style, which exhibits elements such as symmetrical elevation, building proportion and scale.

Cast stone was used to enhance the look of the building's flat-slab roof. The courthouse's site is raised above the surrounding sidewalk, and a stone retaining wall gives the appearance that the building rests on a low podium, which was a characteristic of the style.

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