Grant to jumpstart clock tower restoration project at Marshall County Courthouse

NOW: Grant to jumpstart clock tower restoration project at Marshall County Courthouse

PLYMOUTH, Ind. -- A grant just awarded to Marshall County will help local leaders restore an aging tower.

Marshall County Commissioners say the nearly 150-year-old clock tower that sits on top of the Marshall County Courthouse is showing its age and needs some work.

“Right now the clock tower, the top part of it where the clock is, needs some extra work to it,” said County Commissioner Mike Delp.

The $25,000 matching federal grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology will jump start that restoration process.

Marshall County is one of 15 communities in Indiana to receive the money.

Originally built in 1872, Delp says the tower needs a new coat of paint and the wood framework needs replaced. The tower also lacks a sprinkler system.

“If you look at it really close right now, there’s some paint chipping off,” said Delp. “Some of the wood framework around it has just little splinters that have ended up down here on the courthouse lawn so we know we need to do some work on it.”

Delp says the grant allows county commissioners to hire an engineering firm. The firm will have until April 2020 to draw up a restoration plan with the needed upgrades for the tower.

“It’s so important that we keep this clock tower in good condition so we won’t have to tear it down and start over.” said Delp.

After the study, commissioners will hire a construction company to complete the project. Delp estimates that will cost between $300,000-$500,000.

“The courthouse is such a historic and such a hub here in Marshall County and the City of Plymouth that, you know, we just want to preserve what we have, with the rich history that we have,” said Delp. “It’s just great to see the history and all the labor that went into it at that time. They didn’t have hydraulic cranes and forklifts, it was all done by hand so if you put that in perspective, of all the sweat that has gone into building this courthouse, I just think it’s important that we keep that as something for our community to say thank you to the people that have gone before us.”

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