Historic Old Courthouse Renovated and Now Open to Public - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Historic Old Courthouse Renovated and Now Open to Public

Posted:

DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - After two years and $13 million, major renovations to the historic old Kent County courthouse are complete. And Saturday for the first time the public had the chance to see the overhaul.

Sarah Zimmerman gives tours around courtroom one inside the historic courthouse. The building sits on the Green and is part of the First State Heritage Park. It was originally built in 1874.

"In 1918, they switched it to this colonial revival style, so that it matched a lot more of the buildings on the Green," said Zimmerman. "But it wasn't until after World War II that we got more than one courtroom. All the courts in Dover we sharing this courtroom."

Kent County Resident Judge Hon. William Witham Jr. says the process to update Kent County's courts began more than 25 years ago.

"We had to do it in several stages," Witham said. "The first stage was the new courthouse. The second stage was to redo the old historic courthouse."

It was $73 million to construct the new building and $13 million, to renovate the old. Witham says the way the old courthouse was there were security issues and  rapidly deteriorating courtroom conditions. He says the work has made a huge difference in this court which handles both superior and chancery cases.

"So, we welcome that opportunity to show the general public what we've done here."
There will be plenty of chances to see it, whether on a tour or perhaps as a party in a case.

Witham expects the courtroom to look like it does now for a long while.

"It's unlikely we'll be given additional moneys from the state to do any further renovations," said Witham. "So, we're largely done."

He says the current setup is designed to last 25 to 30 years.

The First State Heritage Park is offering tours of the historic courtroom the first Saturday of every month. They run from 1:30 PM to 4 PM beginning at the John Bell House on the Green in Dover.

  • Delmarvawide NewsDelmarvawide NewsMore>>

  • Discussion Sparked on Kent County's "Dangerous" Animal Ban

    Discussion Sparked on Kent County's "Dangerous" Animal Ban

    Monday, May 22 2017 7:46 PM EDT2017-05-22 23:46:41 GMT
    Monday, May 22 2017 7:46 PM EDT2017-05-22 23:46:41 GMT

    DOVER, Del. -- John Zalewski of Kent County says he'd like to keep poison dart frogs at his home near Milford, something he thinks would not be blocked by the state's permitting process for exotic animals. However, Zalewski claims he was told by Kent County the frogs would be classified as dangerous animals, even though he said the amphibians are not poisonous when held in captivity. "I'd put one in my mouth or whatever. They're completely harmless," he said. Kent Co...

    More

    DOVER, Del. -- John Zalewski of Kent County says he'd like to keep poison dart frogs at his home near Milford, something he thinks would not be blocked by the state's permitting process for exotic animals. However, Zalewski claims he was told by Kent County the frogs would be classified as dangerous animals, even though he said the amphibians are not poisonous when held in captivity. "I'd put one in my mouth or whatever. They're completely harmless," he said. Kent Co...

    More
  • Ocean City Postpones Median Project

    Ocean City Postpones Median Project

    Monday, May 22 2017 7:20 PM EDT2017-05-22 23:20:09 GMT
    Monday, May 22 2017 7:20 PM EDT2017-05-22 23:20:09 GMT

    Ocean City median project has been postponed till fall of 2018. 

    More

    Ocean City median project has been postponed till fall of 2018. 

    More
  • Wicomico County Hires New Finance Director

    Wicomico County Hires New Finance Director

    Monday, May 22 2017 6:30 PM EDT2017-05-22 22:30:22 GMT
    Monday, May 22 2017 6:30 PM EDT2017-05-22 22:30:22 GMT

    Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver announced the replacement of former finance director Leslie Lewis.  

    More

    Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver announced the replacement of former finance director Leslie Lewis.  

    More
  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Cruisin' OC Weekend Raises Concerns

    Cruisin' OC Weekend Raises Concerns

    Although this weekend brought in a lot of business for the 25th Annual Cruisin' Ocean City, there were many people left in town that had mixed emotions about the event.More
    Although this weekend brought in a lot of business for the 25th Annual Cruisin' Ocean City, there were many people left in town that had mixed emotions about the event.More
  • Locals React to Cruisin' Ocean City

    Locals React to Cruisin' Ocean City

    Thousands of cars rumbled into Ocean City for Cruisin' OC but not everyone was thrilled about it.

    For 27 years unique cars have traveled from hundreds of miles away to drive up and down the streets of Ocean City.

    While this event might be a big attraction for people who aren't from Delmarva, not everyone gets revved up for the weekend.Locals said that over the past few years the noise and the smell has gotten to be a little too much.

    More

    Thousands of cars rumbled into Ocean City for Cruisin' OC but not everyone was thrilled about it.

    For 27 years unique cars have traveled from hundreds of miles away to drive up and down the streets of Ocean City.

    While this event might be a big attraction for people who aren't from Delmarva, not everyone gets revved up for the weekend.Locals said that over the past few years the noise and the smell has gotten to be a little too much.

    More
  • Residents Worry About Uptick in Violence on One Particular Street

    Residents Worry About Uptick in Violence on One Particular Street

    In Dover, in recent weeks, shootings have mostly been concentrated on the south side of New Street with a person, a home, and a car being hit by gunfire.

    More

    In Dover, in recent weeks, shootings have mostly been concentrated on the south side of New Street with a person, a home, and a car being hit by gunfire.

    More
Powered by Frankly

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WBOC. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices