The giant granite stairs leading up to the Brennan Courthouse are currently in disarray for a good reason, as repairs are being made to the century-old foundation in an effort to restore one of the county’s landmark buildings.
The stairs of the historic Beaux Arts structure, which first opened in 1910, have been excavated to correct settling that’s worsened in recent years. The brick piers underneath the large granite slabs have deteriorated to the point where the stairs were starting to sink, but restoring the entrance isn’t as simple as it sounds.
The project, which will cost about $1.7 million, started back in October and required the careful removal of the granite stairs and plaza slabs, which were originally sourced from quarries in Maine around the turn of the 20th century. The contractor on the project has carefully marked each slab’s location on the stairs, as they will need to be returned to the proper area after the foundation is stabilized.
The historic six-story building has been restored several times over the years, with the most major renovation occurring in the 1970s. Additional renovations were started in 2007 to restore the original lighting in the building’s interior. There was also an exterior renovation to the building in 2011.
The county says that the project should finish up sometime in 2017. In the meantime, visitors to the courthouse can enter the building through the newly-opened Baldwin Avenue entrance.