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Architectural historian reviews old jail plans

By Staff | Dec 13, 2013

Pierce County Auditor Karin Fursather received a letter this week from the state architectural historian Lorna Meidinger regarding the State Historical Society’s review of the old jail.

Meidinger and architectural project manager Tom Linn reviewed plans submitted by consulting firm EACP, which is making plans to convert the building for use by the county’s social services department. They also met with two members of the county board of commissioners to explain their concerns.

The biggest concern expressed was with the wood columns in the proposed front office area.

“As discussed during our site visit, we would allow the new office configuration if the paneled partition wall between the columns and the entry are removed and the new office wall would be placed between the office space and columns, allowing the columns to remain and become part of the south entry again,” Meidinger wrote.

Meidinger said the trim on the windows must remain and a historic baseboard on the walls should be reused in renovation.

The historian has no issues with the jail cells being removed on the first floor and said south side window replacement must match the profile of the existing large plate windows. No stained glass windows can be removed, but storm windows can be placed over the exterior or interior of the stained glass.

“The architects are going to take a look at that report too and see if they can work around what they suggested and we’re gonna have a meeting on Tuesday and then we’ll decide,” chairman and District 4 Commissioner Duane Johnston said.

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