The Green County Courthouse in Monroe, Wisconsin has been a pillar of the town’s architectural history and landscape since its construction in 1891 — in fact, the courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. But after more than 100 years of service, the Green County Courthouse required some significant and crucial restoration work to help restore the structure to its original condition, and to help preserve the building for another century of use.
While a large portion of the job centered on restoring the structure's slate roof, the full scope of work included several other aspects of historic restoration work, each requiring a high degree of skill and experience in order to maintain the structural and historical integrity of the building. What’s more, the courthouse featured several one-of-kind architectural elements that added layers of complexity to the project.
The Renaissance Historic Exteriors team of restoration specialists combined superior craftsmanship with an expert understanding of traditional, old-world techniques — particularly with slate roofing — to help breathe new life into the Green County Courthouse. Here, let’s take a close look at how our team of skilled craftspeople got the job done.
what kind of historic restoration work did the green county courthouse require?
The scope of work required to restore the Green County Courthouse centered on removing asphalt shingles and replacing them with new natural slate roofing tiles to match the roofing tiles used in the original construction. As with any historic roof restoration, installing new slate tiles requires work on other components of the structure to help ensure the historical accuracy and integrity of the entire roof system.
In the case of the Green County Courthouse, this included work in a variety of historic restoration specialties, including roofing, historic carpentry, architectural sheet metal, and historic masonry. Our teams of restoration technicians worked in a cross-functional, highly collaborative way to craft detailed project plans to address a wide range of needs, such as:
- New and restored copper flashings
- Gutter and cornice restoration
- Brick and limestone restoration, including the replacement of sheet metal used in the construction of round turrets
- Clock tower and turret restoration
- Repair and replacement to historic carpentry elements, including those in support of masonry components
In addition, the removal of aging masonry revealed more damage to the roof system components than what was initially believed, and the processes and materials required to address these deficiencies necessitated more in-depth and detailed masonry and historic carpentry work. Our planning team also uncovered that the brick backup designed to help support the cornice sheet metal was significantly compromised due to water infiltration and damage.
how the renaissance approach to historic restoration helped transform the green county courthouse
Each Renaissance restoration is steered in part by our Monarch Elite Process, a seven-step process that helps ensure each project is completed in a transparent, collaborative manner to help make the property owner a true partner in the restoration journey.
Our commitment to communication and partnership proved to be particularly important in restoring the Green County Courthouse, in large part due to the wide-ranging scope of the work. What’s more, our dedication to crafting such detailed project plans helped us implement a number of safety measures to safeguard the well-being of our restoration specialists and the property itself. This was also key in allowing the courthouse to operate as normal with minimal disruption.
Our restoration specialists used historic photographs of the courthouse’s exterior to fabricate historically accurate pieces of architectural sheet metal for gutters and downspouts. These pieces were produced via our in-house copper studio to help ensure the highest levels of quality and care in the production of such vital exterior components.
Plus, our restoration teams demonstrated the utmost craftsmanship in accurately restoring a number of copper adornments, clock tower spires and clock faces, and other important decorative features.
Renaissance completed the restoration of the Green County Courthouse in November 2023 after more than two years of detailed, purpose-driven work. The new slate roof is not only more representative of the materials and techniques used in the original construction of the property, but the complete overhaul of the associated roof system and exterior facade will help ensure the courthouse remains an architectural pillar of the Monroe, Wisconsin community for decades to come.
As a recent recipient of an International Federation of the Roofing Trade (IFD) award, Renaissance Historic Exteriors is recognized worldwide for the ability to restore unique historic structures. Our restoration specialists combine old world craftsmanship with innovation and technology to help preserve historic properties for future generations.
Contact us to learn more about how Renaissance can help you get your restoration project off the ground.