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John Canning & Co. Completes Restoration of Fulton County Common Pleas Courtroom

Work done at Fulton County Courthouse, Wauseon, OH.

Cheshire CT, September 2019: John Canning & Co.’s restoration project at the Fulton County Common Pleas Courtroom has been added to the list of successfully performed courtroom restorations completed by John Canning & Co. Plans for the Common Pleas Court restoration included painting and plastering; refurbishing the chairs and wooden barrier between the court area and the spectator gallery; restoring the walls and the brilliance of the fine art murals; recreating the courtroom’s original stadium-style seating and returning the courtroom to its original classical lines and color scheme.
Some of the key players involved in the restoration project from the Fulton County Board of Commissioners included Vond Hall, Judge Robinson and Sue Behnfeldt.  The Fulton County was established in 1850 from the counties Lucas, Henry and Williams.  The courthouse was built in the Neoclassical Renaissance style by architect C.C. Miller.  The wood building was completed in 1851 but burned in 1864. The new courthouse was constructed out of brick and remained in use until the county decided to move the courthouse to Wauseon, Ohio in 1869. The move was a decision based on the progress of the railroad and the growth of the county. The old courthouse was repurposed as an infirmary. The new courthouse, the third for the county, and the first for Wauseon, was completed in 1872. This is the courthouse currently used today and stands as a Fulton County landmark. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
John Canning & Co. performed a historic paint study prior to any restoration work to determine the original color palette.  The historic paint study revealed the Courtroom was a variation of finishes that have been embellished over the years.  Even embellishments on top of embellishments, many times over had occurred.  John Canning & Co. returned it to the classical lines, designs and motifs.  The decorative finish work John Canning & Co. performed included treatments on ornamental moldings ornately, conservation of murals, as well as decoratively hand-painted metal window valances and dado borders.
The main and unique feature of this courtroom space is the numerous murals and tondos.  John Canning & Co.’s fine art conservation work included a total of 14 paintings: 10 murals and 4 tondos. The artwork, oil on canvas, was produced in a studio and marouflaged to the wall with an adhesive. Nine of the ten murals are adhered within ornamental plaster framing, the central mural is marouflaged in a recessed wall at the central arch and the four tondos appear on the sides of the room, on the upper walls. The 4 president tondos were removed for cleaning and Inpainting utilizing Institute for Conservation (AIC) conservators’ methods and materials.  The original oil on canvas presidential tondos had been executed in the studio then marouflaged to the courthouse walls.  John Canning & Co. also performed cleaning, conservation and Inpainting on-site work for the 10 murals.
The restoration work done at the Fulton County Common Pleas Courtroom is a great example of how all communities can work to preserve the historic beauty and maintain the historic fabric of the past. We need the reminder of what once was and what can be and be allowed to appreciate the architectural artwork that is around us.

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