PITTSBORO, N.C. — Plans were recently introduced to rebuild the historic Chatham County Courthouse will that was severely damaged in a fire last year.
Hobbs Architects, of Pittsboro, N.C., was commissioned to evaluate the remains of the Courthouse that was built in 1891. The engineering report confirmed that its masonry walls are structurally sound and the Chatham County Commissioners immediately directed Hobbs to stabilize the walls and install a temporary roof to protect the interior until the reconstruction drawings and specifications could be developed.
A Courthouse Task Force was established to allow citizen input into possible new uses for the historic structure. Many ideas were proposed but commissioners asked Hobbs to restore the second floor courtroom to its original character and make the ground floor spaces available to the Chatham Historical Association as a museum and office.
Hobbs plans to complete its reconstruction drawings in late spring and Construction is expected begin in the summer.
The design work is proceeding under the guidance of the North Carolina Department of Archives and History and the Chatham County Historical Association to assure the architectural character of the building is retained.
All areas will be made handicapped accessible and new construction materials will be non-combustible. A fire sprinkler system will also be installed.
Wherever possible original materials will be used and the original appearance preserved. The building will contain up to date plumbing, mechanical, and electrical systems to support new public uses as well as the district court that will continue in the main courtroom.