Historic courthouse remodel near completion
June 17, 2002
Sometime next week, Clark and Sullivan Constructors will hand Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa the keys to the remodeled Carson City courthouse.
Except for the fact the building no longer has a courtroom, Public Works Board inspector Gary Heinz says it looks a lot more like it did when built in 1922 than before the remodel.
He said the $2.7 million project “gutted everything out of the building with the exception of the concrete core and the floors.”
That included removal of the covered structure on the south side of the structure added in 1966 as an entrance to the Marriage Bureau.
“The architect Robert Oxoby did everything he could to match the original decor and design of the building,” Heinz said.
“Actually we built a building inside of a building,” said Danny Dockter, project superintendent for Clark and Sullivan. “A lot of the things that were done on this job we never did before and will never do again.”
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That includes assembly of 18-inch deep window casings custom made out of oak by B&C Cabinets of Reno. They had to be that deep because that’s how thick the old sandstone walls of the building are.
Dockter said probably the most pricey item is replacement of the oak in keeping with of the original design.
In addition to the windows, the doors and trim throughout the building are oak.
Heinz said longtime Carson residents will be pleased to find the marble wainscoting, staircase and floors have been preserved. Also preserved are the heavy iron doors to the old vault.
There’s no vault behind them anymore, but Heinz said they kept the doors because of their historic value.
Other than the vault doors and the marble, they said nearly everything inside the building is new. That includes the roof, custom-made windows, a handicapped access ramp behind the building and new concrete stairs in front.
Between the ramp and the newly installed elevator, the building meets Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for the first time.
The 14,679-square-foot building now contains 30 offices housing, among other things, the attorney general’s Consumer Affairs Bureau.
Lawmakers complained during the 2001 Legislature that the restoration project was costing far more than a new building with even more office space would. Dockter, however, said he thinks state officials will be very pleased when they see the finished project.
“We brought this old building back to life,” he said. “If they come over and look at it, they’d want to move in.”