Sad news out of Madison

May 21, 2009
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The 154-year-old Jefferson County Courthouse caught fire last night, and the damage looks serious. Workers were finishing up renovations in preparation for Madison's bicentennial next month. You can follow Twitter updates from the Madison Courier here. The fire photo below was submitted to the Courier.

Jefferson County Courthouse postcard
Courthouse on Fire
  • This is truly sad. It's so painful to see a landmark such as this destroyed. Hope they are able and willing to restore it to its former glory, instead of replacing it with a square box with no dome atop it. Thanks for sharing the pix, Cory.
  • Madison is a great town. One of the oldest in Indiana. I recommend all taking a day trip there.
  • This is sad on so many levels. Madison is a National Historic Landmark, one of only about 30 (+/-) in Indiana. More important than just being listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It will be interesting to see what they say started the fire if it has not been determined yet. I was down there about 3 weeks ago and spent a few minutes watching the workmen paint the exterior. How many fires are started during a construction project? Is this some kind of neglect? I am going back to the Madison Courier site you gave us, Cory. Thanks...
  • From the looks of the pictures, it looks like the courthouse is possessed.
  • I lived in Madison for 22 years. Been back many times since. As far as the sketch in the postcard, Madison's Courthouse looks nothing like that. It was not even remotely that big. The streets around it don't even look familiar in the postcard. Too much open space, even for 1918.
  • I was deeply saddened to learn of the fire. I was one of the designers of two renovation projects in 1998 that took all the paint off the brick and stone, fixed the cast iron columns and restored a lot of the woodwork in the cornice and cupola.

    Apparently, the fire was started by workers soldering sheet metal for the roof.

    I hope Jefferson County can rebuild the damaged portions in a proper manner so the building can maintain its character.

    As to the accuracy of the postcard - it's close. The scale and distances are deceptive. I think these postcards were typically hand-colored photographs.

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