Hidden from interior view for almost 60 years, the dome on historical Fayette County Courthouse in Lexington, Ky., recently was restored and revealed to the public. Closed in 1960 to house HVAC equipment, the dome was renovated as part of a $32 million project to restore Lexington's historical courthouse.
Built between 1898-1900, the building is an example of Richardsonian Romanesque-style architecture and is the largest of its type in Kentucky. Throughout the years, the building's space became less than optimal for courtroom use. Consequently, during the 1960s, the facility was remodeled, compromising much of its original character, including sealing off the rotunda and removing a grand marble staircase.
For almost a century, the building served as the city's courthouse before it permanently closed in 2002. The building remained vacant for years until 2016 when the city unveiled plans to renovate the building and transform it into a "hub of public and private market-driven activity."
Plans included a Lexington Visitor's Center, restaurant, bourbon bar, leasable office space, top-floor event space to accommodate 300 people, two-floor atrium, décor lighting inside and outside of the building, and glass floors to allow visitors to view the dome restored by American Roofing and Metal Co. Inc., Louisville, Ky., and Steinrock Roofing and Sheet Metal Inc., Louisville.