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Statues returned to perches at Dubuque County Courthouse

September 26, 2018
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Giese Roofing Company employee Ryan Herber guides a statue into place ontop of the Dubuque County Courthouse Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (Dave Kettering/Telegraph Herald via AP)

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Historic statues have been refurbished and returned to their perches high atop the Dubuque County Courthouse in eastern Iowa.

A crane was used Tuesday to help workers place the statues around the building exterior. The building has been undergoing a $1.4 million remodel as well.

“It was due, and I think the courthouse is a tremendous treasure for Dubuque County,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Jay Wickham told the Telegraph Herald . “While it’s expensive, I think it’s excellent for the reputation of Dubuque County and the city of Dubuque.”

The statues have been part of the courthouse since its construction was completed in 1891. The statue refurbishments weren’t originally planned, but their repairs were added to the courthouse makeover after workers saw how damaged the statues were.

The sheet zinc used to make the statues had deteriorated and birds had gotten inside of them. Rubberized paint was placed inside the statues to keep water from leaking in. The exteriors were repaired with sheet zinc and other materials, and the seams and cracks were filled.

The seven statues and other decorations cost about $125,000 to refurbish.

The building work included a new roof, painting and masonry repairs but didn’t include new leaf on the golden dome. The county will look at fundraising for that project.

The project likely will be completed in a few days, now that the statues are back in place, said the county facilities superintendent, Chris Soeder.

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com

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