County officials are taking their time in evaluating the best way to repair the 112-year-old Themis statute that crowns the historic courthouse in downtown Waco.
It’s been almost four months since a storm carrying 65-mph wind gusts ripped the left arm from the beloved 18-foot-tall goddess of justice. County workers on June 23 found her left arm on the courthouse lawn and the scales of justice bolted to her left hand in a nearby magnolia tree.
County Maintenance Director Sam Sykora said he filed an insurance claim shortly after the treasured statue was damaged.
Sykora said he hopes the repairs can be done on site instead of having to lower the nearly 6,000-pound statue as was done in 2011 when she was restored and repainted at the same time the courthouse roof was repaired and waterproofed.
It took 50 men, more than 20 trucks, a 220-foot-tall crane and a 50-foot-long flatbed trailer to restore her to her pedestal that time.
Themis’s court of Lady Liberty and Lady Justice also were repaired at the same time.
“Being the age of the statue and everything, you have be real careful,” Sykora said.
Despite her touch-ups, Themis is still mostly composed of her original 1902 materials.
But Dustin Chapman, the county’s legal counsel, said the missing arm hasn’t caused any water leaks into the roof, so officials are taking time to find the best repair options.
“We haven’t even ruled out the possibility with it being 110 years old, we may have to look at replicating a new statue,” he said.
Chapman said the county is working with its insurer, the Texas Association of Counties, to see what type of coverage reimbursement is available.
County officials are also consulting the Texas Historical Commission to determine what should be done. In 2010, the historical commission advised the county on the materials that must be used to restore the statue as well as the roof.
“Anything we do, any major modification, they have to be involved with it. They have to give their blessing on it,” Chapman said.