LOUDON, Tenn. (WATE) – Time has been no match for the Loudon County Courthouse, but a fire late Tuesday could be. As county leaders wait to learn how much of their 147-year-old courthouse is salvageable, many people in Loudon are hopeful.
Sara Chihasz said Wednesday she’s heartbroken by the charred courthouse. She was taking photos of the iconic dome to “just to preserve a little history, I guess. When I came across the bridge and saw that, it just breaks my heart. I’m a lifelong resident of Loudon and the courthouse is the center of town. So many things are on the courthouse lawn.”
Bo Carey, a local business owner and historian, also found the sight of flames poking out of the courthouse painful.
“We’re really proud of our courthouse. The cupular, or the dome, at the top that seemed to be where the fire was initially noticed, that has become a symbol of our county. it’s almost like it’s the logo of the county. That’s what hurts the most is that that was pretty much destroyed. We hope that it can be restored or replaced to keep that classic look,” he said.
He called the courthouse fire a setback, in the midst of a thriving downtown undergoing revitalization, but he said he believes something can be “made good” if the right sources work together.
Chihasz remains hopeful for the courthouse’ future.
“I’m hoping that we can rebuild,” and she doesn’t want to entertain the idea her courthouse might be a total loss.