Historic courthouse demolition underway in Mayfield 9 months after tornado

Mayfield Fire Station to be demolished
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 5:42 PM CDT
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MAYFIELD, Ky. (KFVS) - Nine months after a devastating tornado hit western Kentucky, crews started bringing down the historic centerpiece of the Town Square in Mayfield.

Work to demolish the Graves County Courthouse began on Tuesday, September 13.

The courthouse long stood as a symbol of the county and, more recently, as a reminder of the damage left behind by the December 10 tornado.

Plans to rebuild the courthouse have not yet been finalized, but County Commissioner Tyler Goodman said location and the building’s history will be taken into consideration.

”The original courthouse was finished in 1889, so 130 something years and that is very symbolic of our county,” Goodman said. “I think the goal for everybody is to keep the historic significance when it is built back and to be able to preserve some of that and be able to honor the tradition, but be able to have something new and that everyone is excited about as well.”

He said they’re looking at a total timeline of three years to rebuild the courthouse.

“There’s two different parts of that,” Goodman explained. “One is the judicial side and the other is the county side. And one of those will be built here, the other will be built close to the court square as well. So the court square will continue to house county government for Graves County.”

Demolition work on the American Legion Memorial building also started this week.

“The courthouse and American Legion and jail are set to be completely demolished,” Goodman said. “That process started yesterday, which was the 12th, and the contractor has 90 days to tear them down and basically leave everything at ground level.”

He said they know how important it is to have government buildings and businesses in the downtown area in order to keep people visiting and working in the area, as well as keeping the community thriving.

They’re looking at different types of museums for the American Legion, like an art guild or retail space, Goodman continued, but he said that will be something that will discussed with the community.