In March, Logan’s magistrates discussed renovating portions of the old county jail on Fourth Street in Russellville. The Archives and Genealogical Society now calls the historic structure home. Problems have been surfacing with rain getting into the building and the electrical system, which is outdated and a safety hazard.
Architect Robert Burge, who was in charge of the old courthouse renovation, was hired by the Fiscal Court to look into the problems and come back to the court with solutions. Burge attended Tuesday’s Fiscal Court meeting to present his findings, and suggest what the county can do to fix the issues.
The archives is the home of some of the county’s oldest documents and is operated by two part-time employees and a handfull of volunteers. The building, erected in 1869, once served as the county jail with living quarters in the front where the jailer lived. The bars are still visible from the outside of the structure, and the cells are all intact. The building is listed on the Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, which is good news for the county, as it will be applying for historic funds to pay for the renovation project.
Burge said there are problems with water erosion that is pushing the mortar out, adding that there are actual holes where sunlight peeks through.
“The trim is separating from the brick,” he said. “Water is leaking into the brick. The mortar is solid, but the water is infiltrating in there and is pushing it out.”
The electrical system needs replacing as well. Burge said in years past there was one hot wire and one grounded wire that led to a switch on the wall to turn on the lights. He said some of the hot wires are still active, and if a rodent gets on them and is electrocuted, it could catch fire and burn the structure down.
Total anticipated cost for the project is $120,000. The court unanimously agreed to move forward with applying for historic tax credits and funding for the project.