I was back up to my old tricks again today after spending the week watching the construction workers making daily progress on the Courthouse. Sneaking around public buildings in Purvis. They had a man lift out yesterday morning with a power washer and did a dang fine job getting probably what was 50 some odd years of yuck off the bricks and stone. As a plus, the black stenciled letters “LAMAR COUNTY COURTHOUSE” are mostly gone from the washing. I don’t know whose hair-brained idea that one was.
You can see where they couldn’t get to the center of the building because of the debris chute and the dumpster on the ground. The only drawback to this is now you can’t see the detail in that stone trim above the “name” on the building as well as before but it looks better gunk free so I’m not complaining.
Unfortunately, when you power wash a one hundred year old building, you may do a little damage and have to regrout/rebrick some areas. It probably wouldn’t hurt, since the grout on this courthouse is this old, to go ahead and wash out even the good grout down to a half an inch and regrout the whole thing. They just got finished doing this to the Kress Building, Forrest Towers and City Hall in Downtown Hattiesburg. All of those are not quite as old as this building.
I walked around back and saw a big pile of metal conduit beside the handicapped ramp. They’ve pulled all of that out of the ceiling that was hanging down in the last photos I took and out of the drywall in all of the rooms.
The back door that always stays ajar yielded an unfinished room with a ceiling that is covered in black mold.
They’re doing some framing in there too and laying some reinforcing wire in areas they’ve cut out of the floor so something major is going on in there. They haven’t done this in any of the other rooms. They also have left the old fireplace surround in that room.
The door to that room which goes out into the main hallway is still on its hinges and you can see exactly where they pulled the old conduit, wiring, light switch and electrical outlet straight out of the drywall in there. Pretty cool.
They haven’t power washed the sides or back of the building yet so all of the gutters and water spouts are still hooked up but I’m sure they will be removed soon. There is a green stain on the front where the copper pipe stained the bricks and it looks like it withstood the power washing it received. On the side of the building, there are piles of preformed rebar that makes me wonder what is going to happen next since rebar goes in concrete and the foundations for this building is already there. Reinforcement? New foundation somewhere? Don’t know. We’ll see.