I happened to catch sight of workmen applying copper panels to the side of the new Maricopa County Superior Court Tower under construction in downtown Phoenix yesterday. Copper was chosen because it is durable and will last decades, even centuries without maintenance. They will be using more than twice the amount of custom fabricated copper than was used in the Statue of Liberty; 405,375 pounds. If stretched into wire, it would wrap around the earth at the equator 4.4 times.
In 2008 and into 2009, copper prices were high but, they dropped mid year in 2009. The decision was made to purchase the copper for this building in July of 2009 when the price was $2.23 per pound. By the end of the year, the price has risen to $3.00 per pound.
The copper panels on this building will not be the same green color as the Statue of Liberty. Copper oxidizes differently in different climates. The dry climate of the desert will cause the copper to turn a brown or bronze color. When completed, the tower will have 22 courtrooms with room to add 10 more in the future if needed. Construction will be substantially complete in November of 2011. Another whole year to go.