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About: History of DeKalb County

1982 Remodeling Project

On June 21, 1982, the DeKalb County Public Building Commission signed an agreement with the architectural firm of Burnidge, Cassell & Associates of Elgin to prepare a schematic design for the Courthouse remodeling.

A Courthouse Remodeling Committee was next appointed by the then County Board Chairman, Donald Lundeen, to work with the Judiciary and Burnidge, Cassell & Associates for the purpose of devising a final plan to be presented to the County Board.

The Committee consisted of five Board members: Charles Marshall, Chairman; Marcia Stewart, Leonard Kise, Robert Morrison, and Jack Norling.

On December 21, 1983, the County Board passed a resolution approving the Committee’s plan and authorizing the Public Building Commission to proceed with a bond issue and the awarding of contracts.

Actual work on the project started in November 1984, with living Construc­tion Company of DeKalb as the general contractor. Most of the remodeling and renovation was completed during the tenure of Paul Johnson, who succeeded Donald Lundeen as County Board Chairman in December, 1984. J. Quentin Dailey succeeded Paul Johnson as Board Chairman in December 1986, and the project was completed in 1987.

The DeKalb County Public Building Commission, consisting of Donald Lundeen, Chairman; Ellen Barker, Kenneth Baker, Paul Duncan, and Gary Hanson, together with the Judiciary, exercised general supervisory powers over the remodeling and restoration.

The remodeling and restoration of the Courthouse addressed two specific goals. The first was to provide an efficient and functional space to satisfy the needs of the State’s Attorney, Circuit Clerk. Probation Department, and the Courts. while maintaining the original archi­tectural character. The second was to restore the historically significant areas of the Courthouse, such as the lobbies, stairway, and original courtrooms.

Conrad Schmitt and Associates, a nation ally recognized restoration contractor, provided consulting services during the design phase to ensure the authenticity of the restoration of the decorative plaster and painting, the reworking of marble and terrazzo, and the repair and replacement of stained glass.

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