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Grant County Courthouse

Elbow Lake, MN

Civic Landmark

Grant County’s courthouse, an early reinforced concrete building was built to last. The stately civic landmark, designed by Bell and Detweiler, has witnessed the growth of West Central Minnesota since 1905, and it continues to convey gravitas as the county seat in Elbow Lake. To ensure its longevity, Miller Dunwiddie joined a team of state partners, including the Minnesota Historical Society and the Office of Energy Security, to assess the building’s structure and systems and make updates in harmony with its status as a property on the National Register of Historic Places.

The three-story Beaux Arts building features rich red-toned Port Wing brownstone from Lake Superior, a segmented dome clock tower, and ornate marble wainscoting and border details. Fortunately, only minimal updates had been made to this stunning building. Even better, as our preservation architects investigated the structure, we discovered a lost treasure: a series of handsome murals depicting regional scenes hidden beneath a dropped ceiling. Our work included restoration of art and decorative finishes, systems upgrades, life safety and accessibility updates, slab floor stabilization, energy efficient window replacements, and a historically accurate and durable roof replacement. We also assisted the County in receiving multiple grants to complement the funding. The restored courthouse will bring pride and service to the people of Grant County for generations to come.