Fans of the original True Grit remember the courthouse scene, in which we first meet Rooster Cogburn, a US Marshall prone to shoot first and ask questions later. Not much has changed in the Ouray Courthouse since 1968, when the film was shot in Ouray County.
As the courthouse celebrates 130 years of service to the County, the wear and tear has begun to show. Consequently, the people voted for a temporary sales tax increase in November, 2017, to restore this treasure to it’s former glory. Additionally, the county has received a grant award from the Department of
Local Affairs for $1,000,000.00, and another grant award from the Underfunded Courthouse Facility Commission (UCFC) in the amount of $$832,075.00!
With funding taken care of, the next step was to find new temporary homes for county offices, then packing and moving all necessary equipment, while safely storing records and other important documents.
Once this step is complete, renovations and repairs will begin in earnest, to include: foundation systems improvements; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems replacements; exterior site work; drainage mitigation and water damage repair; interior repair for all three levels including wood, windows, and doors cornice and cupola, exterior brick restoration; sidewalk and landscape improvements; enhanced ADA compliance, and west (main) entrance porch rebuild.
It is a very exciting time for Ouray County, as we begin the first steps toward restoring one of the most well known monuments to the rich past of Ouray and the San Juan Mountains.
For more information, or to sign up to receive a monthly newsletter with information on temporary office locations and other updates along the way. Information can also be found on the Ouray County website www.ouraycountyco.gov, as well as on the “Save the Ouray County Courthouse” Facebook page.
Be sure to take a walk up 6th Avenue during your visit to see the progress, as this project gets under way!