The impressive, Italianate style Knox County Courthouse opened on March 9, 1875. A half-story base of granite supported the brick building and a flight of stairs ascended to an elegant portico supported by Doric columns. The original Palladian window above the portico looked out onto a small balcony surrounded by a granite balustrade. Sides of the building were adorned with two-story windows, which provided light for the courtroom. Surrounding the roof line was a heavy cornice, and four chimneys, two on each side.
In 2015 Building Envelope Specialists quickly uncovered that poor repairs had led to deteriorating mortar joints and fractures in the wall assemblies. A closer investigation revealed that the original mortar mixture was natural cement, and well-intended repairs using Portland cement had only accelerated the aging process.
Arresting moisture infiltration was the main goal for this project. Exterior repairs included uniform repointing of masonry elements using a mortar composition matching the original. The fractured granite was mended using an epoxy with dark sand aggregate to match the original stone. Replacement windows were also installed complementing the style of the building, during which proper measures were taken for lead and asbestos abatement.
Rockland’s Italianate courthouse has now been preserved and restored so that locals and visitors alike can admire its history and architectural beauty. This is truly a community success story, since the people of Knox County provided the funding to insure that their county court house was repaired to the highest standards, and will remain a distinguished local landmark for years to come.