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The original item was published from 1/8/2015 9:46:21 AM to 2/13/2015 12:05:01 AM.

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Butte-Silver Bow

Posted on: January 8, 2015

[ARCHIVED] Historical trendsetter: Courthouse stained-glass copied by others

An unveiling of the recently restored dome in the Butte-Silver Bow County courthouse, 155 W. Granite St., starts at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 9.

Mominee Studios restoration architect Jules Mominee will discuss the restoration process in the commissioners chambers at 1:40 p.m. A tour from the rotunda to the fourth floor of the courthouse will immediately follow.

A newly restored, 1,500-pound dome in the courthouse rotunda unveils its shiny face to the public on Friday.

Surprise: At least three Indiana courthouses borrowed the pattern from the original Butte-Silver Bow dome.

“The stained glass dome is a very common design element used in the early 1900s,” said restoration architect Jules T. Mominee. “The Butte courthouse is kind of unique in that the layout and dome were copied by other courthouses in Indiana. It was considered very state-of-the-art and no budget was spared.”

Mominee Studios and contractor Bovard Studio overhauled the dome within five months. The restoration project cost Butte-Silver Bow $209,873.

Mominee speculates that the H.M. Hooker Stained Glass Co. of Chicago may have created the original Butte-Silver Bow dome installed by Link and Haire Architects when the courthouse was built between 1910 and 1912.

“The glazing style is very similar to what I’ve seen of H.E. Hooker's work,” Mominee told The Montana Standard on Tuesday from his office in Evansville, Ind.

Brightening the expansive rotunda are 24 wedge-shaped panels restored to their original integrity within a stunning 28-foot diameter.

“Butte was far ahead of its time, but it needed more light,” he said. “It’s twice as bright as it was before.”

Read all about it in The Montana Standard.
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