JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Renovations at the historic Ashe Street Courthouse in Johnson City are on schedule to be completed by fall of 2023.
Almost a year after demolition started on parts of the Ashe Street Courthouse, an updated version of the downtown historic structure is beginning to emerge.
“The design build team has just done a great job of modernizing this facility while also honoring its historic value,” said Johnson City Director of Facilities Management Brian Ross.
Through the process, crews have uncovered some hidden surprises like forgotten records kept in a hidden closet. They’ve also found some architectural gems unique to the Ashe Street project.
“Some of the architectural features that we find and you kind of wonder about how those were crafted, and now we’re trying to replicate some of those things with local craftsmen, so it’s a unique project,” said Ross. “It’s been a lot of fun to be a part of.”
Hal Hunter is a member of the board of Heritage Alliance, which works to preserve pieces of history in the region, and has been following the renovation process of the old Courthouse.
“The inside of it’s going to be gorgeous when they get done because it’s all going to be very much related back to what it was when it was first built,” said Hunter.
Hunter said in previous decades, Johnson City hasn’t done the best job of preserving its past, and he’s happy to see a change.
“There’s been things like that that have been done over the years, and you just can’t bring them back,” said Hunter. “So it’s really good to see the city really pushing back on some of this stuff and trying to maintain it.”
The city hopes to have tenants lined up for the office space by the summer.