Many Iowans are reminded of the ornate Dallas County Courthouse when they visit old castles or palaces in Europe – where royalty once dwelt – and there is good reason for it. The Azay-le-Rideau Chateau at Indre-et-Loire, west of Tours, France inspired this Courthouse’s original design architect. The elegant old French residence, completed in 1529, is more elaborate in design, but the resemblance is evident even though the courthouse departed from the French plan in many ways. The Dallas County Courthouse remains a classic – one of Iowa’s foremost public buildings.
Completed in 1902 the original Dallas County Courthouse was constructed of Bedford stone with a red tile roof and stands in the center of the public square in Adel, Iowa. The building is 84’ x 126’ in size, four stories high, and includes a 128 foot tall tower, turret shaped corners, and statues of the Goddess of Justice above each of the two main entrances. The elaborately finished interior has marble wainscoting, and fresco work. The floors of the halls and lobbies are mosaic patterned tile.
K/O was first hired to correct the failing structural condition of the courthouse. The building underwent a systematic floor replacement which was followed by the restoration of the interior spaces this included considerable historic paint and plaster repair. The existing stone exterior and windows were repaired and replaced. The new program required accessibility throughout; other upgrades included fire sprinkler, HVAC, electrical and IT. Once complete the turn-of-the-century looking structure became a modern energy efficient office building.