Some major improvements are coming to a historic landmark in Manatee County.
Soon, new landscaping and major renovations will take place at the county's old courthouse.
The work comes on the heels of a multimillion-dollar exterior facelift. Located in downtown Bradenton, the building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, still shows signs of its age.
Built in 1913, the historic Manatee County courthouse has endured a lot of wear and tear over the years. But soon, the 100-year-old building and the property that surrounds it will have a new look.
For years, nothing has been done to the landscape, and the sidewalks that surround the old building are broken and in bad shape. New native landscaping and other renovations are planned to transform the grounds from an eyesore to a pleasant sight.
R.B. "Chips" Shore, the county clerk and comptroller, said the city wants to make the building and property look like it did in its prime.
"Everything that will be going into our landscaping project is native and was native at the time the courthouse was actually built," Shore said. "So, it’s actually very exciting."
War and police memorials are also being added to the building's east side, between the courthouse and the new Manatee County Judicial Center. A gazebo will also be added to the west side of the property for outdoor concerts.
The project is expected to cost nearly $700,000. The work will start in mid-July and should be finished within six months.
The Vietnam War memorial from the property is being moved to the Manatee Veterans Monument Park along Bradenton's Riverwalk.
Shores said money for the project is coming from foreclosure lawsuit fees, leftover funds from construction of the judicial center and grants and donations.