In response to a question regarding the whereabouts of the original 1841 Courthouse cupola I went to check on it.
The cupola was removed in 2011 after Hurricane Irene damaged the already leaking frame that it sat on. It was replaced last month by a lightweight substitute. Concerns have arisen throughout the County about the inappropriateness of the modern and much smaller cupola because it is not true to the historical integrity of the building's design. From the perspective of the County officials who approved the change, the amount of money that it costs to fortify the structure to carry the weight of the original cupola far exceeds the budget allocated for the renovation of the Courthouse.
In response to public outcry, DPW informs me that they are planning to assess a current projected cost for full restoration. They also mentioned that they are looking into the option of having an accurate (lightweight) replica made. Once these numbers are available the discussion can continue.
At this time, the base and several boxes with the columns are in a pavilion at the Orange County DPW. The wood and tin work are in excellent condition.The bell is stored securely in an indoor location.The pieces were all carefully removed and numbered so that it can be restored if funding were to become available.
Orange County Historian