Couthouse Cupola to be Restored

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Expand view Topic review: Couthouse Cupola to be Restored

Re: Couthouse Cupola to be Restored

by jeffhanna » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:24 am

I agree with the writer above - that the destruction of the wonderful old Fresno Courthouse in the 1960's was an awful mistake & blunder. The hideous eyesore that replaced it...well, the "city fathers" responsible for the travesty will live in infamy.
In the 1950's through the 1970's, there was an absolute mania for "modernization" where wonderful old buildings were demolished and replaced by sterile boxes and parking lots. Same story in most American towns and cities. "Developers" and the construction industry made a fortune from demolition and modernization.

Re: Couthouse Cupola to be Restored

by Lost Fresno » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:04 pm

The destruction of the old Fresno Courthouse is perhaps the biggest blunder in Fresno history in regards to preserving architecture. Just mention it to anyone that saw it back in the day and that person immediately gets upset about what happened. A wound that will never heal. But it didn't have to be that way. Oh sure, it was deemed too expensive to repair and make structurally safe and I get that.

In the Fresno Bee clipping below, you can read that there was an attempt by some to preserve the entire dome. If only ...
Click to Enlarge / Fresno Bee - Feb. 7, 1964

Re: Couthouse Cupola to be Restored

by Lost Fresno » Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:42 am

One of my favorite topics here at Lost Fresno. Below is a news clipping that I found along with a current photo. The cupola will be displayed in 2016. Below is the text:

The cupola that once sat on top of the dome of the old Fresno County Courthouse from 1895 to 1966 will soon have a new home. Representatives of the Big Fresno Fair and the Fresno Historical Society announced Tuesday that the relic will be restored and placed on top of a planned expansion of the Big Fresno Fair Museum at the fairgrounds. Fresno County Superior Court Judge Robert Oliver said the project will preserve an important part of Fresno County's historic and it's judicial system. The courthouse was built in 1875 and stood until it was demolished in 1966, after a bitter political fight to save the historic structure. The 10,000 square foot expansion will add a second floor to the current museum which opened in 2013. The project is scheduled for completion in 2016. A fundraising campaign is currently underway to pay for the expansion and the preservation of the coupla.

Re: Couthouse Cupola to be Restored

by Big J » Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:08 pm

I missed this - any new news on it?

Re: Couthouse Cupola to be Restored

by Lost Fresno » Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:26 pm

Great news everybody! ABC 30 News also posted these pictures.
cupola3.jpg (30.64 KiB) Viewed 3997 times
cupola1.jpg (36.53 KiB) Viewed 3997 times
cupola2.jpg (31.98 KiB) Viewed 3997 times

Couthouse Cupola to be Restored

by npspatrol » Sun Sep 12, 2010 2:16 pm

One of my fondest childhood memories was walking through the old Courthouse Park, looking up at the white painted grand old County Courthouse, strolling past the old men playing checkers and watching the water drip from the statue of the Boy with the Leaking Boot. When I lived in Fresno, it was hard to look at the newly built Courthouse and not wince as I thought of how insane it was that they demolished the original one. Without a doubt, Fresno's biggest preservation blunder. I read in another thread and also saw the picture of the saved Cupola from the old Courthouse, sitting in a fenced storage yard. So it made me happy to find the story on the internet below. An easy search had turned up this article from ABC 30 News. If you live in Fresno, then this must be old news to you. But to us Boomers that live elsewhere, it is big news indeed. Read on:

By Gene Haagenson
More: Bio, News Team

Fresno, CA (KFSN) -- A small piece of one of Fresno's biggest losses is about to make a comeback. The structure that used to sit on top of the old county courthouse is about to be restored. The majestic Fresno County Courthouse first built in 1875 dominated downtown. At the peak of the dome, was the cupola. It was removed from the building in 1966, just before the courthouse was demolished. The beautiful, ornate architectural marvel was taken down so an underground parking garage could be built for the new, space aged style courthouse building. Just about the only thing left from the old courthouse, is the cupola. It's been sitting in a heavy equipment yard for decades. Lennie Kavoian's father was friends with the owner of the demolition crew, and saved the cupola, for Lennie's Mom Rose. The Kavoian family has donated the cupola to the Fresno County Historical Society, and they are planning to bring it back to life.

A crane will be brought in to move the old structure. It will be placed in a nearby warehouse, where noted architect Bill Patanude will oversee the restoration of this small but important piece of what was a Fresno landmark, demolished in the name of progress. The Fresno Historical Society will be holding fundraisers and other events so the whole community can get involved in restoring this key piece of history.