Allen County Courthouse, Encaustic Tile Floor

Fort Wayne, IN

The Allen County Courthouse was built between 1897-1900 in the Beaux-Arts style popular at the turn of the twentieth century. The building was designed to be a monument to the concepts of law, order, and civic duty, which it does through its scale and high level of craftsmanship throughout. The interior of the Courthouse is a work of art that pays tribute to the decorative arts, as evidenced by its murals, stained glass, scagliola walls, decorative ceilings, and polychrome tile floor.

This Courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2003. A full-scale restoration of the Courthouse interior took place throughout the 1990s but excluded any major work on or replacement of damaged pieces of the tile floors, which are comprised of poly and monochromatic encaustic tiles manufactured by the Mosaic Tile Company out of Zanesville, Ohio. Currently, the Allen County Courthouse Preservation Trust is assisting Allen County in developing plans for restoring the historic encaustic tile flooring.

Our conservators conducted an assessment of historic encaustic tile flooring at the Allen County Courthouse in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The objective of the assessment was to accurately document existing conditions of the tiles and quantify the locations and extent of deterioration. High-resolution photography with calibrated color boards and scales were used to capture the intricate details of the tiles. The results of the assessment will be used to create a comprehensive scope of work for the restoration of the tile floors.