GLOUCESTER — Gloucester’s Facilities Management Department has started work inside the colonial court circle to improve accessibility for visitors coming and going from the historic structures, the county announced this week.
The work will include an American with Disabilities Act-approved ramp with handrails
going from the entrance of the colonial courthouse to the entrance of the Visitor’s Center. Steps with handrails will also be constructed leading to the ramp in front of the courthouse building. There will be a sloped walkway, providing direct ADA access from the Visitor’s Center to the courthouse, the county said.
An enlarged brick area is to be constructed in front of the Visitor’s Center to assist in through foot traffic circulation, as well. Sidewalks throughout the court circle will be leveled out to make for a safer experience for those visiting the historic buildings.
“This project has been one that we have been eagerly anticipating for quite a while,” said Katey Legg, Gloucester’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director. “We are really excited to be able to ensure that our historic buildings are easily accessible to everyone in our community.”
The accessibility project is part of an ongoing improvement initiative aimed to protect the county’s historic assets. Completed projects include asbestos remediation and new flooring in the colonial courthouse and a conditions assessment of the original fireplaces in that same structure. In the future, the county plans to execute a conditions assessment of the historic Botetourt Hotel, which houses the Gloucester Museum of History.