A Glimpse of History: The Old Brunswick County Courthouse

A Glimpse of History: The Old Brunswick County Courthouse

City of Southport explores the history of the Old Brunswick County Courthouse, and shares Up Your Arts' future plans for the historic building.

A Glimpse of History: The Old Brunswick County Courthouse

Published in City of Southport September 2021 Newsletter (pp 9-11)

The Old Brunswick County Courthouse was originally built in the mid-1800s and served as the County Courthouse until 1977 when the court was relocated to the new government center in Bolivia. The building served as Southport City Hall from 1979 until 2014, when administrative operations were moved to their current location on Howe Street. The building is still owned by the city but has been vacant for several years.

It is in a fairly advanced state of disrepair. There are significant environmental issues with mold, most likely with lead and asbestos, as well. A new roof was installed within the last ten years, but there was already extensive water damage by that time and the building was declared uninhabitable in 2016.

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Up Your Arts and the City of Southport was approved by elected officials in November 2019. Successful completion of the agreement included a feasibility study to determine whether the building was a viable candidate for restoration from both a civil engineering standpoint and mold remediation. It passed the test.

A second MOU was approved between the parties in December 2020 for the next year-long stage, which will identify the physical design, programming, and fundraising necessary for financial sustainability, as well as, the management structure under which reconstruction would take place.

Up Your Arts is working to transform and repurpose the old city hall building located at 201 East Moore Street in downtown Southport. John Keiffer, Board Member of Up Your Arts, plants an image in our minds. “Envision an arts center in the historic heart of the city: an informal gathering spot for everyone in our community and a must-see destination for out-of-town family and other visitors. We have a vision for a self-sustaining, state-of-the-art performing and creative arts center that reflects the community we are. Informal, creative, responsible, caring.”

In keeping with their mission of advocating for the art and music community, Up Your Arts has met over the last many months with various officials from the City of Southport and community organizations to discuss possible re-uses of the old city hall building. They are inspired by the building’s history and its standing in the community, both for its prominent downtown location and for its status as a center of municipal and civic life.

Read the full article (with pictures!)

Published On: September 2, 2021 | Category: | Tags:

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