Henry County, Kentucky Probate Courts & Clerks

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Henry County, Kentucky

CLOSED FOR MAJOR RENOVATION. NO PUBLIC ACCESS The Henry County Courthouse, located in New Castle, is undergoing major renovation and will be closed for an extended period of time. A temporary venue has been provided in a formerly vacant commercial space in Eminence, Kentucky. A review of the original courthouse , written about a year ago, and prior to the renovation is included below. Previous additions to the original building were added in the Twentieth Century and have been removed from the original structure, which was completed shortly after the Civil War. The original courthouse structure will be retained and upgraded inside to conform to current public facilities standards. An addition to the rear of the original building will conform to the asthetics of the original building, and where possible, interior archetecural features of the original structure will be retained. The following review was posted about a year ago: The Henry County Courthouse is one of the oldest courthouses in Kentucky. Construction began before the Civil War and stopped for the duration of the war, after which the building was completed. The walls are solid brick and the framework is heavy timber construction. There is a void between the ceiling above the ground level and the floor of the upper level. That void is filled with many tons of earth, making a massive timber framework necessary. Several theories are offered regarding the purpose of this feature, but there is no known definitive explanation. These include fire protection, noise isolation and increased thermal mass, making the building cooler in summer and warmer in winter. When the courthouse was built, there was no electric light or central heat. Many fireplaces and chimneys we're provided for heat. High ceilings and large windows helped provide natural light and ventilation. Interior doors had transoms to provide ventilation when doors were closed. The basement is little used today and is not open to the public. Massive structural timbers are visible in the basement, and some of the original jail cells are there, still intact. The original ceramic tile surface of the ground level floor remains mostly intact, with a few damaged places. One such place was repaired with concrete many years ago and bears graffiti inscribed in the concrete before it had hardened. The original clockworks have been removed from the clock tower, restored and put on display on the ground level. The clock still runs with a fair degree of accuracy. This courthouse has been renovated and updated several times but a substantial portion of the building remains much as it was originally built. The building is now outdated and does not meet current needs. A major renovation and expansion is currently in the planning stages. As many of the original design features as possible will be retained. Please mark the "thumbs up" icon below if you find this review useful.