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Murals, presidential portraits hidden inside Historic Marion County Courthouse

Monday on 10TV News at 6PM, Brittany Bailey reveals what other secrets lay hidden inside the historic courthouse in Marion County.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Marion County Administrative Judge Warren Edwards has a serious case of curiosity, but it’s led him to some incredible finds.

Edwards took 10TV's Brittany Bailey on a tour of the Historic Marion County Courthouse where hidden gems lay behind the walls and locked away in old vaults.

The building, constructed in 1884, was once heated by fireplaces and wood stoves unlike the heating systems newer buildings have today. While undergoing construction to modernize the building, original walls and hand painted murals were covered and an arched ceiling hidden behind new ceiling tiles.

Credit: Judge Warren Edwards
This picture shows the old arched ceiling hidden above the new ceiling tiles.

Room 305, what looked to be an average utility closet with three furnaces, holds some unique history. Hidden inconspicuously behind a furnace, coated with dust and damaged from water is a portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Credit: WBNS-10TV

It's not the only presidential portrait.

So far, those working in the building have discovered three more portraits, one in the restroom and the other behind a wall.

FULL STORY: Curious Marion County judge cracks open a long-hidden vault at historic courthouse

Edwards said even more history is hidden behind the walls, waiting to be uncovered.

"We believe there are at least 12 of these portraits somewhere."

Credit: Judge Warren Edwards

Those aren't the only curiosities in the historic building.

During the pandemic, Edwards enlisted the help of his secretary to crack the combination on the lock of a vault door. Behind it was a room full of history that had been untouched for years.

“When we opened it, was just full of old documents,” Edwards said. “It looked like walking into some tomb from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Just covered in dust, three inches of big, black dust bunnies on everything.”

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