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Woodbury County Courthouse

Sioux City, Iowa
County of Woodbury.
620 Douglas Street
National Register Number: 73000744
Resource type: Building.
Property type: Government - courthouse. The threat level was Threatened in
Congressional District: IA-5 Certified Local Government: YES
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Current use/information: Courthouse.

Statement of Significance (as of designation - June 19, 1996):
The Woodbury County Courthouse is the only major civic building by a Prairie School architect, William L. Steele, with assistance from architects George Grant Elmslie and William Gray Purcell. Designed in the Sullivan tradition, the building is in pristine condition and still fulfills its original function.

Load-bearing walls in the basement and the building foundation have been substantially weakened and may collapse. Water runs behind the walls of the courthouse and there is standing water in the basement. Water infiltration from an unknown source has deteriorated the walls on the north and west sides of the courthouse. Structural beams that support the basement also extend under the adjacent sidewalks outside the building and they are in danger of failing. Rebar has become seriously weakened and concrete is spalling. Pedestrians are not at risk, but the use of heavy construction equipment on the weakened sidewalks poses a very real threat of collapse. Immediate structural rehabilitation of the basement area is necessary. The situation is very delicate. Stewards will rebuild interior walls and will insert a rubber membrane to stop the infusion of moisture. The existing sidewalk should be removed, and replaced with a new slab and rubber membrane.

A structural inspection of the threatened areas and development of plans and specifications for corrective actions were completed June 30, 2006. Financing and funding for the project still need to be identified.

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