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Old Courthouse to be illuminated green in honor of veterans

By Press Release
Oct 26, 2022, 12:25pm

Press release:

In advance of the upcoming Veterans Day holiday, the Old Courthouse will be illuminated green from Nov. 6 through Nov. 12 as part of Operation Green Light, a nationwide initiative to support veterans and raise awareness about the challenges faced by many veterans.

Operation Green Light also focuses on sharing resources that are available at the county, state, and federal levels to assist veterans and their families. This collaborative effort was developed by the NYS Association of Counties and the NYS County Veteran Service Officers’ Association in 2021 and was adopted this year by the National Association of Counties and the National Association of County Veteran Service Officers.

Locally, the Genesee County Legislature is set to adopt a memorializing resolution in support of Operation Green Light. We want to make sure our veterans and their families know that their service matters, that we are grateful for their sacrifices, and that it is now our turn to make sure they are served by their county government and our community.

In addition to lighting the Old Courthouse green in honor of all those who have served, residents and businesses are encouraged to demonstrate their support by changing an entryway light bulb to a green bulb. By shining a green light, we let veterans know that they are seen, appreciated, and supported. While this event is focused around the week of Veterans Day (November 6th -12th), participants are encouraged to continue shining the light year-round. Participants are encouraged to share photos and messages on social media using #OperationGreenLight. 

Submitted photo.

Photos: Old Courthouse lights rotating yellow and blue in support of Ukraine

By Howard B. Owens
Mar 1, 2022, 10:16pm

The LED lights that illuminate the Old Courthouse at Main and Ellicott in Batavia are now rotating in the hues of Ukraine, yellow and blue.

Those are the colors of the country's flag in honor of its blue skies and flaxen fields of wheat.

The color scheme was unanimously approved by the Genesee County Legislature.

Old Courthouse, Upton Monument lighting projects completed

By Howard B. Owens
Sep 4, 2020, 10:27am

Press release:

Representatives of Lighting Design Innovations and Cedar Street Sales and Rentals are pleased to announce the completion of the third phase of the feature lighting at the Old Genesee County Courthouse site in Batavia.

The firms sponsored the donation of lighting design activities and lighting system luminaires, components, and advanced control system to accentuate the building façade and its location in the cityscape by lighting the courthouse corners with RGBW color changing LED luminaires.

The advanced lighting control system allows the County to program coordinated colored light displays for the new courthouse corner lights and the cupola, which received its color-changing light as the first phase of the project. Initial system programming and controller training was sponsored by Vertex Lighting Solutions. 

The illuminated façade of the Old Genesee County Courthouse is the backdrop for the new white LED lighting that was provided for the Soldiers’, Sailors’, and Marines’ Monument as the second phase of this project. The monument lighting was unveiled Memorial Day 2019 in time for the monument’s centennial, celebrated in August of 2019.

Although the final phase implementation was temporarily delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, County personnel worked with the consultants to complete the work in time to be shared with the community for Labor Day 2020.   

Photos and video by Howard Owens.

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Photos: Cold, white and blue in Batavia

By Howard B. Owens
Dec 3, 2019, 1:03pm

It was a beautiful morning in Genesee County, with temperatures in the teens so trees stayed flocked even though the sun was out and the sky was blue.

Top photo, from Court Street, looking toward the Old Courthouse.

The snow-covered eagle atop the Upton Monument taken through the window on the third floor of the Old Courthouse.

The Rowell Mansion.

Centennial Park (in black and white).

Centennial Park (in black and white).

The Barber Conable Post Office Building in Batavia.

The flag pole outside the Old Courthouse.

Photo: Full moon and the Old Courthouse cupola

By Howard B. Owens
Sep 15, 2019, 1:37pm

After I finished up at Batavia Downs last night (video coming), I opened an email from Brian Graz suggesting a photo of the full moon.

Well, we already had a great one from Jim Burns Friday but thinking about it on the way I home, I wondered what the moon might look like behind the Upton Monument.

Well, the top of the monument wasn't sufficiently illuminated at that time of night to properly expose in a shot with the moon in it (at least not with the equipment I had with me) but it did work out pretty well to get a shot of the moon and the Old Courthouse cupola.

Photos: Spring flowers downtown

By Howard B. Owens
Apr 26, 2019, 11:46am

This is the prettiest time of year around the Old Courthouse and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.

Also, the daffodils in front of City Hall are blooming.

Residents gather to watch lighting of cupola at Old Courthouse

By Maria Pericozzi
Jun 6, 2017, 4:28pm

A lighting ceremony of the cupola on top of the Old Courthouse in Batavia was held at 8:30 p.m. on Monday.

The new lights are made up of four colors which can be mixed to create any color. The lighting design and equipment was donated by Lighting Design Innovations, Paul and Kim Mercier and Vertex Solutions.

Old Courthouse cupola illuminated red, white and blue this week with donated LCD lighting system

By Howard B. Owens
May 28, 2017, 11:34am

Installation of a new LCD lighting system atop the Old Courthouse in Batavia was completed this week and for Memorial Day Weekend, the cupola is illuminated with alternating red, white and blue lights.

The system, donated by Batavia-based Lighting Design Innovations, has a color pallet of thousands of shades to fit any occasion.

The value of the system is $7,500 and is computer controlled.

Paul Mercier, a partner in the company, pitched the idea to the County Legislature in February and said his company would donate the system for the cupola.

"For us, the significant aspect of being here is we believe in community," Mercier said.

Mercier suggested that at some point, the Legislature may wish to support a fundraising effort to illuminate the entire building.

Local lighting design firm offers donation to illuminate cupola on Old Courthouse

By Howard B. Owens
Feb 16, 2017, 10:15pm

The folks at Lighting Design Innovations want to give something back to their community, so they are offering to donate hardware, software, lights and wiring to illuminate the cupola atop the Old Courthouse 365 days a year.

Paul Mercier, a partner in the company, told members of the County Legislature about the proposed donation at a meeting of the Public Service Committee earlier this week. The committee voted to accept the donation, which is valued at $7,500.

"For us, the significant aspect of being here is we believe in community," Mercier said.

LDI is a multinational corporation with headquarters in Batavia and an office in Western Canada and clients spread throughout North America, Mercier said. They chose to base the company in Batavia because his partner is from Batavia and they like it here and think it's geographically well placed for their business.

"People often ask why we’re in Batavia and I always say, it’s the best place to be," Mercier said. "It’s the best place to be for business. If you take a string on a map and go 500 miles we hit a great deal of the population and I can tell you that within that 500-mile string, we are working in all of it right now."

Mercier shared a few slides of municipal lighting projects installed by LDI.

Then he presented mock-ups of what the Old Courthouse might look like with illuminated decorative lights.

While LDI is donating just enough equipment to illuminate the copula, it's Mercier's hope that other people in the community will step forward with donations sufficient enough to enable the entire building to be illuminated. As part of his presentation, Mercier showed Photoshopped mock-ups of what the courthouse might look like when fully illuminated.

The lighting system consists of LED lights that can display millions of colors that shine on an object, such as the cupola, with color designs being made by software attached to the lighting system.

Assistant County Manager Matt Landers said the new system will replace a conventional lighting system that is used on special occasions. The electricity cost between the less-efficient system and the new LED system used more frequently will be about the same, Landers said.

Mercier, Landers and county staff did meet one evening recently for a demo lighting of the cupola. 

“What I was surprised by that night is how from how far away you can see the cupola," Mercier said. "It is truly a beacon from all directions.”

Once the lighting is installed, which Mercier said is an easy process, he thinks legislators will be eager to see the entire building illuminated.

"You’ll love the way it is, we have no doubt about that, but we think you’ll want to consider a second and third phase that you can celebrate all over again that you’ve illuminated something else on the courthouse," he said.

Photos: A winter view from atop the Old Courthouse

By Howard B. Owens
Dec 20, 2016, 12:19pm

D.J. Snyder, a maintenance mechanic with Genesee County, shared these pictures he took from the cupola of the Old Courthouse in Batavia. He was up there with coworker Randy Boyce to replace fuses in the star hanging on the west side of the cupola.

Unexpected damage to Old Courthouse drives up restoration costs by $30K

By Howard B. Owens
Oct 15, 2014, 4:08pm

Workers found a few surprises when they started work on restoration of the Old Courthouse roof and cupola.

The copper cupola was pockmarked from gunshots, probably bullets from a .22 rifle, and beams that supported the cupola were far more rotted than anybody anticipated.

It's probable there is a bit of a connection between the two sets of unanticipated damage. County Manager Jay Gsell suggested that at least more than 20 years ago, somebody thought he could solve the pigeon problem on the roof with a rifle. That didn't work, of course, and the pigeons kept coming back and coming back and coming back, and their nesting in and around the cupola caused the rotting beams.

Repairs to this damage caused a $30,000 cost overrun for the restoration project, which was originally budgeted for $180,000.

The Public Service Committee approved a recommended budget amendment yesterday to cover the cost of the overrun.

Photos courtesy Tim Hens, county highway superintendent.

A worker fills bullet holes with copper welds.

The view down West Main from atop the Old Courthouse.

Photo: Four-decade-old roof on Old Courthouse getting replaced

By Howard B. Owens
May 5, 2014, 1:56pm

Work is beginning today to replace the the 38-year-old cedar shingles on the roof of the Old Courthouse in Batavia. Workers will also repair the wooden cuppola. The county awarded the contract to Joseph Sanders and Son Co., out of Buffalo, in an amount not to exceed $180,000.

County moving forward with roof replacement of Old Courthouse

By Howard B. Owens
Jul 2, 2013, 9:26pm

It's time for the Old Courthouse in Batavia to get a new roof.

The current roof was installed in 1976. That restoration included replacing the copper around the edge of the roof and restoring the cupola, which had deteriorated to nothing but a frame.

Frank Ciaccia, facilities management for the county, said this afternoon that the copper should last 100 years, so it won't need to be replaced, but it's time for the cedar shingle roof to be replaced and the cupola needs some repairs.

The Ways and Means Committee approved a contract with SEI Design Group of Rochester to provide design services for the project.

Once plans are in place, a bid will go out for a contractor to complete the work.

The request for proposal for SEI is divided into two parts. There is a $15,790 cost for basic design work and $5,213 for hazardous materials design, if it turns out that phase of the project is required.

Ciacca told legislators he thought the two-part RFP was necessary to ensure the winner of the RFP would try to pull money from the hazardous materials design into the main design phase if it proved hazardous materials weren't necessary.

The current roof has been leaking but Terry Ross, supervisor of buildings and grounds, said the leaks have not caused any damage to the interior of the building.

Photo: Sunset over the Old Courthouse

By Howard B. Owens
May 1, 2010, 12:40am

This evening at the carnival, I thought I should get a picture of the midway from a rooftop, and when I saw Steve Valle in front of Valle Jewelers, I asked him if I could borrow his rooftop. We got up there just in time to see the entire flock of gulls on the Latina's roof take flight (unfortunately, none of those shots really turned out). Steve allowed me to hang out a bit longer as the sun set, and eventually, I got this shot.

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