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Reporter: Paul J. Gately Email

Courthouse Statue Removed from Perch Saturday, Headed for Repairs

WACO (March 26, 2011)—After 109 years standing on top of the McLennan County Courthouse, "Themis" the Greek goddess of justice, was separated from her perch and was on the way to the ground Saturday morning.

“She’s in bad shape,” said Mike Anderson, project manager for Johnson Roofing, the contractor that is in the midst of repairing the courthouse roof.

Anderson has birthright to the job in that his grandfather and father worked on the same roof in 1953 when they repaired the statue and other portions of the roof after it was damaged by the 1953 Waco tornado.

Just after 10 a.m. the statue and the pedestal she stands on were separated from the courthouse dome and workmen were in the midst of securing her for the 100-plus foot trip to the ground.

Anderson said she’ll be trucked to the Johnson Roofing shop where she’ll be repaired and updated over a three-month process.

We’ll fix her broken arm and replace the missing sword,” Anderson said. “She also has a (basketball-sized) hole in her head from hail storms and weather.”

Anderson said the goddess weighs about 2,300 pounds but the scaffolding erected around her to ensure her safety add a great deal to the weight.

A large crane parked in the courthouse alley will be used to bring her down and place her on a trailer for her trip to the shop.

The statue is hollow, made of thin plates of zinc.

Most of her weight is in the wooden base she rests on, which Anderson said is mostly rotted away.

“There are places in the base you can stick your finger through,” he said.

The larger dome is virtually stripped of its ornate decorations and it will be repaired in place, Anderson said.

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  • by s Location: waco on Mar 30, 2011 at 08:32 AM
    The Goose is part of the history, it's a great story, please put the Goose back up on the backside where he has for many years. If you do not know the story, research it. It's a noteworthy story.
  • by SR. C Location: Waco on Mar 28, 2011 at 09:20 AM
    replase? get back to class
  • by john ,e on Mar 27, 2011 at 10:06 PM
    please do not replase the goose who stands with the eagles
  • by PawPaw Location: Waco on Mar 26, 2011 at 07:45 PM
    Seeing first hand the years of damage and weathering this is a much needed repair to our Counties historical courthouse. I am glad to see our commissioners and County government working to restore it and preserve the beauty and grace of our Courthouse. Job well done commissioners and County. Great work Johnson Roofing, Wales Crane and Bilt Rite Scaffolding.
  • by SR. C Location: Waco on Mar 26, 2011 at 11:18 AM
    I'm very glad the County finally decided to make the way past due, much needed repairs for Our Historical/Stately Courthouse. And I'm also glad that KWTX finally decided to report this(The scafolding has been going up for weeks). Thanks to all. Finally We see our taxes well spent instead of wasted.
    • reply
      by Ron on Mar 26, 2011 at 03:58 PM in reply to SR. C
      I completely agree. Major repairs and restoration to the Courthouse are long overdue. I am amazed the statues on the roof have made it this long, considering the amount of damage they have suffered. That speaks highly to the kind of craftsmanship that went into this building.
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