Courthouse dome closed for almost 60 years is reopened

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington’s Historic Courthouse dome is back open after being closed to the public for almost six decades.

Mayor Jim Gray officially reopened the restored dome at a ceremony on Monday morning.

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He says the dome “tops off a courthouse that once again will be a centerpiece downtown.”

Those heading up the restoration say the dome is the most “historically intact” area in the building, with original plaster, paint colors and lights.

The building was one of the first electrified buildings in the area, and its innovative use of electric lights in the dome was groundbreaking when the building opened 119 years ago.

The work on the dome is part of a $32 million project to restore Lexington’s Historic Courthouse, which has been on Main Street since it opened in 1899. Private funds and funds from historic tax credits paid for the project, according to the city.

Although the dome is finished, work continues on the other floors of the Courthouse. The public will be invited to tour the building when work is complete in late spring.