Old Pima County Courthouse to lose its memorable pink color

Old Pima County Courthouse to lose its memorable pink color

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Old Pima County courthouse will soon get a new paint job, with an "old" color.

According to a release from Pima County the new color, a shade of adobe, will match what the original architect, designer, and owner selected when it was built in 1929.

Samples were taken after contractors, working on the rehabilitation, uncovered the original paint color.

"In the spirit of restoration, we have decided to bring it back to the 1929 intention," said Linda Mayro, director of the Pima County Office of Sustainability and Conservation, in the release.

The Old Pima County Courthouse is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1929 it only cost $300,000 to build.

The restoration team believes the exterior Courthouse color evolved to the "Old Pima Pink" shade due to fading of the original paint's red and yellow sub tones, according to the release. Painters later matched paint to the faded color rather than the original making the building pinker with each new coat.

"It's really unusual for a government entity to take such care with their historic buildings, and we commend the County for their preservation efforts," said Terry Majewski, Historical Commission chair. "The County will be restoring the exterior of the building to its appearance in 1929, the year the courthouse was completed. Even details such as original paint color are important, as they contribute to the historic character of this highly significant building as it was originally designed by prominent architect Roy Place."

Contractors have also found several historic elements, aside from the original paint color, that are in need of repair.  One of the most famous, or rather infamous is the Dillinger Courtroom, which is as intact as it was back in the 30s, was actually bigger then is currently shown and will be restored to its original dimensions.

Restoration work on dome. (Source: Pima County)

Funds for the restoration are coming from the leftovers from other projects that were completed under budget.  The exterior restoration is expected to be complete, with the new updated paint color as well, in either April or May.

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