Chatham Co. courthouse reconstruction under way, two years after fire
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PITTSBORO — This weekend marks the two-year anniversary since a fire destroyed the Chatham County Courthouse.
The county is working toward re-opening the courthouse doors by the end of the year. Locals say the building represented a piece of the county's history. The total cost of reconstruction will average $6 million.
Officials say a construction worker accidentally sparked the fire with a soldering iron in 2010.
“Some of the wood in there was very old and very dry and that started the fire,” said Chatham County Commission Chair Brian Bock.
The courthouse was undergoing a major renovation at the the time. Now, a major reconstruction is under way.
“Part of the job has been to get the rest of the wood out. The commissioners decided to rebuild it with a steel infrastructure,” said architect Taylor Hobbs.
Located in the center of Pittsboro, the courthouse is a major landmark to the community. The building has been a part of Chatham County for more than 130 years.
“The courthouse represents a lot of history for the county. It's more than just a building and you can see that in people's emotions as they stood around and watched the clean up,” said Bock.
“The day after the fire people put flowers outside of the construction fence which you don't usually see for a building. I think it speaks to what this building means. Not only to the downtown area, but what it means to Pittsboro and Chatham County at large,” said Hobbs.
The courthouse was also home to the Chatham Historical Museum. Several of the artifacts were save and will be back on displace once the building re-opens.