Contributed content by the Illinois Senate Democrats.
CARLINVILLE – The renovation of the seat of Macoupin County government, the Macoupin County Courthouse, is progressing steadily thanks to a $1 million investment through the Rebuild Illinois statewide construction plan.
State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), who currently leads budget negotiations for the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus and served as chairman of the Macoupin County Board from 2003 to 2012, advocated for swift action on this project.
“As a lifelong Macoupin County resident, securing the funding in the state budget for this renovation project was especially important to me. The courthouse is the crown jewel of Carlinville and deserves to be treated as such,” Manar said. “During my tenure as Chairman of the County Board, I came to understand just how challenging it was for the county budget to pay for the needed repairs to preserve the working seat of our government. The county budget can’t handle this expense on its own. So, it is my hope this state investment will both preserve our rich history and help the county board and sheriff continue their work.”
As it stands, the top of the courthouse received three coats of paint while the remaining coats of paint and roof repairs are set to commence in the Spring. Critical repairs to the courthouse roof structure and dome are also being made. The project is being carried out by Joiner Sheet Metal of Highland, Illinois. Heading up the project is Sheriff Shawn Kahl who is responsible for the maintenance of county buildings and a committee of the Macoupin County Board.
“Being able to witness the progress of the Macoupin County Courthouse restoration project over the past several months has been a blessing for the Carlinville community,” said Sheriff Shawn Kahl, who advocated alongside Manar to fund this project. “The courthouse is a monument to the history of Macoupin County, and I could not be more thankful to Sen. Manar for his continued advocacy on this project’s behalf.”
The Macoupin County Courthouse, nicknamed the “Million Dollar Courthouse” because of its original cost when completed, is one of the largest courthouses in the country. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places and has been named one of Illinois’ great places by the American Institute of Architects. Years of delayed maintenance on the building, however, left it in dire need of revitalizing.
“The improvements to the courthouse provided by this project have been a long time coming,” Macoupin County Board Chairman Mark Dragovich said. “A few fresh coats of paint and a new roof go a long way in showing appreciation for such a historic landmark.”
“This undertaking represents a monumental change in our county,” County Board Member Harry Starr said. “A new courthouse dome gives the people of Macoupin County something to take immense pride in, and I’d like to thank Sen. Manar for his efforts to make it a reality.”
The project is expected to be completed in the spring of 2021.