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Onondaga Courthouse

Built in 1907, a hundred years later the once commanding metal domes and cupola of the beaux-arts Courthouse were in need of restoration. Heather & Little reproduced the decorative copper elements, curved batten dome caps, cupola, finials, and cartouches for this massive courthouse exterior restoration.

The Onondaga Courthouse in Syracuse, New York is a beautiful building located on the eastern edge of downtown. Built in 1907, in the beaux-arts architectural style, this building was designed with striking metal domes and a metal cupola made of stamped copper sheet. Over time, however, this sheet copper began to deteriorate and was in dire need of repair.

Teaming up with Henderson Johnson Roofing of Syracuse, Heather & Little was contracted to reproduce the decorative copper elements, curved batten dome caps, cupola, finials, and cartouches for this massive courthouse exterior restoration.

From the outset, we knew it was imperative that the restoration replicated the previous, well known design. To ensure this outcome, the entire metal cupola was slowly dismantled, and newly fabricated decorative sheet metal was added to restore the structure to its original appearance. Copper roofing elements on the main dome and four smaller domes, roof finials, cartouches, curved copper batten roofing, and the finials for the clay tile roof were also fully replaced, ensuring design consistency and longevity to the restoration. To make sure that the new sheet metal would withstand the test of time, 20-ounce sheet metal was used throughout.

The new copper stamped sheet metal domes, cornices, copper capitols and roof finials helped the courthouse reclaim its previous grandeur. This project was not only a practical success, but was selected by the North American Copper Association for the Copper in Architecture Award for Restoration. Take a look at the images below:

Preservation Consulting

And if you are looking for a second opinion on your project or have a particularly complex issue that needs a fresh eye, we’re here for that too. Tackling tricky challenges is our specialty and we welcome the opportunity to provide consulting advice, with the same exacting attention to detail we bring to all our commissions.
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