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Community Meeting Scheduled for Historic Renwick Courthouse Planning

by | Dec 3, 2015 | Government

By Susan Larson. Photo by Ted Schubel, news director, WFVA 1230 AM.

The City of Fredericksburg is hosting a community meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 7, 2015, to discuss the future of the historic Renwick Courthouse in downtown Fredericksburg. The meeting will be held in the building’s second-floor courtroom at 815 Princess Anne St.

“City Council has made the adaptive reuse of the Renwick Courthouse complex a top priority,” said Assistant City Manager Mark Whitley. “Council and city staffers want to hear from the public, and the December 7 meeting is a good opportunity for the start of that community dialogue.”

People who have old photographs of the building are encouraged to bring them to the meeting.

The city has hired Commonwealth Architects to perform an historic structure report on the courthouse. Dr. Bryan Clark Green, director of historic preservation for Commonwealth, will discuss the building, including its history, condition and architecture at the meeting.

“Green and his team have been evaluating every inch of the structure and poring through historical records to arrive at the conclusions that will be part of the historic structure report,” Whitley said. The report will help determine how best to preserve the historic structure and help shape the building’s future.

“While focused on the former courthouse building, Commonwealth is also studying the conditions and specifications of the adjacent former jail, as well as the current administrative offices for Fredericksburg City Public Schools,” Whitley said.

The former courthouse was designed by renowned architect James Renwick, Jr., who also designed the Smithsonian Castle in Washington, DC, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. The two-story masonry structure was built in 1852 and served as Fredericksburg’s courthouse until the new one was completed in 2014.

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