Champaign County Courthouse
Constructed in 1901, the original clock tower of the Champaign County Courthouse stood over 40 feet taller than prior to the restoration. The clock tower was the victim of multiple lightning strikes, which over time caused it to be drastically truncated. In the 1970’s, a citizen’s group restored the clock, and installed the bell on the shortened tower, while adding lightning rods atop the tower.
In 2000, the Citizen’s Committee to Restore the Courthouse Clock and Bell Tower was formed with the explicit goal of restoring the tower to its original 1901 height and design. The decision was made to remove the existing tower, and rebuild in the original design, while utilizing modern materials to bring the tower up to code. Local sculptors and craftsmen were hired to replicate missing decorative elements on the tower. The $1.5 million needed to complete this project was raised completely by local donors. Restoring this historical element back to its original design has truly been an admirable community effort.