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Beautify, qualify to win and possibly enjoy BBQ with Gov. Bevin

By Linda Waggener

Will you be -- or are you already -- one of the 200 volunteers to help spruce up the outside and inside of the historic Adair County courthouse as we enter Governor Bevin's Beautify the Bluegrass contest?

The winner will get a visit to Columbia with BBQ lunch for volunteers by Governor Bevin -- the deadline to share our before and after photos and names of those who helped is tomorrow afternoon, Sept 20, 2017. If you want to be included in the BBQ with the Governor, you must be signed on as a volunteer. Tomorrow morning, 8amCT at the Courthouse Annex is the date to come sign up if you are not already on the list below.

Volunteer work being done or scheduled at this writing includes: Adair Heritage Association, Adair County Fiscal Court, City of Columbia Sidewalk Ped/Safe Committee, Lindsey Wilson College students on their Malvina Farkle day of service. is leading the communications effort to get the contest news out to residents and volunteers of Columbia and Adair County who want to help us invite our Governor and Lt. Governor to join us in celebrating efforts to start 'Beautifying the Bluegrass' right here on the Columbia, KY public square!

If you're driving in Columbia Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, you might want to use the bypass rather than be slowed down by work being done by volunteers around the courthouse. Columbia Police Chief Jason Cross will be putting out cones before 8amCT work begins.

Volunteers are sprucing up and giving some community love to the exterior of Adair County's historic courthouse on the Public Square in Columbia. The old building has been quietly waiting for its new purpose since the new Judicial Center took the rental offices out, and it is gradually sinking into disrepair.

Over the years since then, the community has contributed many good ideas with the most popular being for the building to eventually be restored as a community center for local talent events, family events and as a place to proudly display locally made arts and crafts.

Recently, The Adair Heritage Association and the City of Columbia Sidewalk Ped/Safe Committee, working with County Government, want to spruce it up on the outside, and clean it on the inside for our citizens to enjoy at the fall Downtown Days Festival and the annual "Squarecrows" contest and then Christmas in Columbia.

As the chimneys are being fully repaired and painted, the trees growing out of the shrubs will be cut down and removed, the yard trimmed, new paint will be applied around the edges where the road meets the courthouse yard, and more. Any work done needs photos made before and after and I will include it in the official contest entry after 5pmCT tomorrow, Sept. 20, 2017.

Why the historic Adair County Courthouse? Community volunteer and historian Vonnie Kolbenschlag first spotted the contest and shared the challenge in favor of the courthouse. Her letter is at the link above.

This story was posted on 2017-09-19 12:00:33
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Cleanup efforts underway to advance historic restoration

2017-09-19 - Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo Old postcard picture from archives.
Volunteers are coming together tomorrow, 20 Sept 2017, to help with cleanup efforts underway to advance historic restoration and to enter Gov. Matt Bevin's contest to beautify the bluegrass. This picture shows the courthouse before the "wings" were built on and there is discussion about possibly removing them going forward. For now, however, due to budget restraints, baby steps are being taken to preserve and gradually restore the building. If you want to help win the contest and be included in the list of up to 200 volunteers invited to his BBQ meal, be at the Courthouse annex by 8:15amCT. -- Linda Waggener (volunteer tracking before and after work for contest entry and for posterity).

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Wing being added onto historic Adair Courthouse in the 70s

2017-09-19 - Public Square, Columbia, KY - Photo file photo from archives.
Over the years, as space was needed, two wings were added onto the historic Adair County Courthouse, changing the look and the yard space around the building. The wing being built in this photo faces Campbellsville Street. Preservationists discuss ways to safely remove the wings and return the building to its pre-1970s state. There are questions about the stability of the walls if the entire wings are removed. There has also been discussion of turning the wings into open-air porches for community use.

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