Courthouse savers draw line
By Stu Merry, BHG News Service
The gauntlet has been thrown down. And McLean County Commissioners didn’t flinch. Now, a group wanting to preserve the existing McLean County Courthouse is threatening to take things further, saying they plan to circulate a petition, recalling all three county commissioners. The group also threatens a court injunction if commissioners don’t reconsider plans to demolish the old courthouse. Commission chambers were packed Tuesday as many preservationists came to have their voices heard. They continue to hold out hope that there is some way to make more time to save the courthouse. Dennis Kost led the presentation. He asked for time – not only to speak, but also time to reconsider demolition. Dave Nelson of Leaf Designs, Bismarck, presented ideas as to how the old courthouse could be utilized. “It’s an iconic, historic building and, I think, has some life in it,” he said. Nelson thinks the old courthouse could serve as a drawing card for potential development to the community and county. With office space at a premium in Bismarck, he said the old courthouse would be ideal for businesses and for office space. He said he thinks the building still holds plenty of potential and should not be discarded.