For more than 20 years, the Allen Conty Courthouse Preservation Trust has worked diligently to enure the beauty of the 115-year-old courthouse has been restored and retained. Staff photo by Michelle Davies
Madelane Elston has been there from the beginning, when she and other activists began working in the 1990s to restore and protect the courthouse from decades of neglect and poor care. Elston is board president of the Allen County Courthouse Preservation Trust, and she's still singing the building's praises, more than 20 years later.
On Wednesday, she helped lead media through the courthouse – into its stately courtrooms, through doors that are usually locked and up narrow staircases and into areas rarely seen by the public.
“I think it's really important for the community to understand, this is a world-class building,” she said. “I think it's important to remind them from time to time.”
Completed in 1902, the Beaux Arts-style building was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2002, after eight years and nearly $9 million was spent restoring historic murals, artwork and other items.