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Historic Preservation

The Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Plan, 1999
For more information visit the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission
                    
 
Horse drawn carriage crossing the
Old Stone Arch Bridge, Lewistown, PA. circa 1860

​Mifflin County has played an important role in the industrial history of Pennsylvania as the center of transportation networks including the Juniata River Canal, the Pennsylvania Railroad, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The Planning and Development Department plays an important role in identifying historic resources, researching funding opportunities for preservation projects, and managing restoration and preservation grant projects for Mifflin County.
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Historic Mifflin County Courthouse
The Mifflin County Historic Courthouse was rededicated on September 19, 2004, the 215th anniversary of the creation of Mifflin County. Approximately 120 people attended the reception sponsored by the County Commissioners, the Mifflin County Historical Society, the Juniata Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, the Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau, and DLI. The rededication was the culmination of a six-year process to renovate the Historic Courthouse, which was built in 1843.
 
In 1998, after learning of the roof leaks, the courtroom ceiling deterioration, and water in the basement, the County Board of Commissioners asked the Planning and Development Department to explore ways to renovate the Historic Courthouse. E. Pawlowski Associates was hired to conduct a feasibility study. This report was followed in 1999 with the initiation of a master plan by Hayes Large Architects. Data from these reports were the basis for submission of a Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission Keystone Historic Preservation grant application. In December 1999, the County was awarded $46,100 for exterior renovations. In 2000, repairs to the roof, exterior tower base, fascia, and columns, as well as exterior painting were completed. The cost for phase one, which included the County’s contribution, totaled $154,129. This phase was completed in 2001.
 
After the completion of phase one, extensive deterioration inside the building still existed. Efforts were made through Senator Jake Corman’s office to secure funds through the capital budget process. The State legislature approved an allocation in 1999, and funds were released in December 2002. The funding was allocated through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP), and the County was awarded $926,000 that required an equivalent County match.
 
In 2003, a formal application was submitted to the State for RACP funds that were used for interior renovations. This work included restoring the courtroom, renovating the basement and first and second floors, installing an elevator, replacing the HVAC system, and upgrading the electrical service. The building currently houses the Mifflin County Historical Society, the Juniata Valley Area Chamber of Commerce, the Juniata River Valley Visitors Bureau, and DLI. Throughout the process the Planning and Development Department provided technical and administrative assistance to bring this project to fruition.
 
Old Stone Arch Bridge
Mifflin County was awarded in 2002 a Transportation Enhancements grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to make structural repairs to the Stone Arch Bridge, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The county hired The EADS Group as the consulting engineer to facilitate this project. Final plans for the bridge were completed and approved in 2004. The bid opening occurred in February 2005, and in April 2005, the bid was awarded to J. Fulkroad and Sons, Inc. Project construction began in June 2005.
 
The work included repairing the concrete toe walls and stone arch, reinforcing the concrete substructure within the walls, installing an interior drainage system, and constructing a walkway from Jacks Creek to the bridge. The total project cost was approximately $460,000. Work on the bridge was completed in November 2005. The landscaping, bank stabilization, and walkway improvements along Grant Avenue were completed in May 2006. Below are photos of the bridge before, during, and after construction.


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