Neighbors fear historic Metamora Courthouse is deteriorating, village leaders say it’s out of their hands

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METAMORA, Ill. (WMBD) — A Metamora woman is raising concerns about the conditions of the historic Metamora Courthouse.

Phyllis Nevins Dietel said it needs repairs to its windows, trim, roof, and more.

“This building needs help and it needs help now,” said Dietel.

The courthouse was built in 1845. It’s one of two surviving courthouses on the Eighth Judicial Circuit traveled by Abraham Lincoln and is one of the state’s historic sites. Dietel believes it’s in poor condition.

“There’s considerable damage to windows where you can actually pull pieces of the windowsill out and it’s like paper,” said Dietel.

She said she wants to see improvements made soon.

“It just makes me sick that this is happening. If it’s like this on the outside, what’s it like on the inside?” she asked.

Village President John Cummings said work is ongoing at the courthouse, and state leaders are also working to hire a new curator. He believes they’re trying to reopen the historic site with displays.

“They’ve been working on it most of the summer; fixing up some of the stuff inside, and clearing stuff off,” said Cummings.

He said the historic site is out of his hands.

“The village has nothing to do with that courthouse whatsoever. I have no control over it, [and] no one in the Village has any control over it. It belongs to the state,” he said.

Dietel thinks the Village can still raise concerns to state leaders.

“The village can step up and tell the state, ‘You’re letting this deteriorate, and it’s right in the middle of the community,'” said Dietel.

She’s planning to send a letter and pictures to Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker detailing the issues before it’s too late to fix it.

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