The Downtown Manchester Steering Committee is slowly moving ahead with downtown improvements. They met Friday, Oct. 5 to discuss their progress. The last venture includes painting the courthouse. Because the building is on the National Register of Historic Places, every improvement has to be approved by the register’s office.
Steering Committee Member Evans Baird is working with Coffee County Mayor Cordell to move this process forward. The white trim will be repainted as an off-white, which is closer to what the courthouse’s architect original intended, Baird explained.
This color would “hardly look different,” Baird assured the group.
Steering Chairman Steve West commented that the off-white will help mute the courthouse, as the current white trim sticks out. He added that they need to ask if only the trim is being painted, or if this will include the building’s copula, has having two different shades of white on the courthouse would not look appealing.
The paint job includes the two exterior doors. Baird recommended a dark red or green, but Steering Committee member Allison Dotson was not sold on the choices.
“The doors on the courthouse need life,” she said. She added that the colors Baird presented would add life, but not in the right way. Dotson said the choices looked like they would be there in the 1990s and not the 1800s.
She suggested painting the doors a neutral color and adding attractive seasonal wreaths to them, such as a well-made simple magnolia decoration.
The suggestion was noted and the committee will continue to follow this project through with the national registry.
Plaques and outdoor speakers
West visited Winchester to see examples of the city’s bronze plaques and speaker systems. Winchester has outdoor speakers around their downtown square attached to the top of lamp posts. They are hardwired in. West like the idea for Manchester, but preferred the speakers to be lower than the very top of the posts.
If the committee wishes to pursue the speakers, the cost could range from $5,000 to $35,000 for the equipment and installation. To install, electrical outlets would need to placed outside near each speaker.
The bronze plaques, which would be place on the outside of each historic building on the square, would cost from $300-$400.