Brown County Courthouse Clock Tower
- Historic restoration
- Masonry stone repair
Simpson Gumpertz & HegerEngineer-of-Record
PerformaArchitect of Record
Originally built in 1911, the historic Brown County Courthouse clock tower was in desperate need of repair after over 100 years of weathering. The copper dome atop the tower was rusting, leading to leakage and causing subsequent damage to the interior framing, as well as the masonry walls. The interior and exterior limestone masonry also needed extensive repair because of improper maintenance throughout its lifetime. Additional repairs were required to the clock mechanism, due to its age, and to the concrete catwalk inside of the dome as a result of excessive moisture penetration from the deteriorating copper dome and surrounding masonry.
The courthouse clock tower is not only an integral part of Green Bay’s history, but it is also an essential fixture of the city skyline. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it was imperative to the owner to restore this iconic feature and provide a long-term restoration solution, leaving the clock tower intact for future generations.
Unforeseen Conditions Lead to Additional Repairs
STRUCTURAL worked closely with Brown County officials and led a team to restore the courthouse clock tower to its former glory. The team reconstructed and replaced the copper dome panels and its framing. Following mortar analysis and matching services, extensive repairs were also made to the limestone façade using the Dutchman technique, as well as to the brick masonry. Unfortunately, several unforeseen conditions presented themselves as STRUCTURAL took a deeper dive into the substrate under the copper panels. This required additional repairs, including full depth concrete repair, installation of new custom designed steel framing to support the lantern base copper skirting panels, and the installation of a waterproofing membrane. Sealant was also applied throughout several other interior and exterior areas to prevent any future water damage. In addition, while repairing the clock mechanism, it was discovered that many of the clock castings had cracks at several screw locations – an issue not known at the beginning of the project.
Bicentennial Birthday Celebrations
The goal was to complete the project within budget and by the County’s bicentennial birthday celebration. Despite several unforeseen challenges, STRUCTURAL met this goal successfully, completing the project within budget and in time for the ceremonial lighting and flag-raising ceremony.