by Todd Wineburner
Pontiac’s stately centerpiece is open to do the people’s business. At a short ceremony yesterday afternoon, county officials cut the ribbon marking the re-opening of the newly renovated courthouse. The restoration has restored architectural details of the building that were covered by layers of paint or walled up. The restoration occurred during the tenure of County Board Chair Bill Fairfield, who was extremely gratified to preside over the ribbon cutting.
Fairfield says the restoration presented some challenges and directs considerable praise toward Bill Flott who headed the oversight committee for the project. Fairfield says there were some challenges, as many of the building’s systems needed extensive repair, but the building is now ready for occupancy. The Livingston County Board used its new meeting room for the first time last night, and county offices should be fully moved in by early next year.
The newly restored courthouse will also give a boost to an already booming tourist trade in Pontiac. Mayor Bob Russell was on hand for the ribbon cutting, and he half-jokingly said that international tourists have already made the building one of the most photographed courthouses in the country. He says the building isn’t just the center of town—it’s a center of attention and some international visitors have said they'll visit again just to see the completed building.
One of the first activities in the building from outside the county will be a touring exhibit from the Smithsonian. It opens at the courthouse in late February and will be on display until April.