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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 3:22 AM
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beautiful courthouses

I saw a forum about city halls and I thought all of the city halls were beautiful. Texas on the other hand has beautiful courthouses. I was wondering if the rest of the country builds beautiful courthouses, and if so could you post a picture and if your like me and can't put pictures up give a description.

Thanks.

Last edited by john_mclark; Dec 19, 2006 at 1:47 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 3:42 AM
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There are County courthouses in Wisconsin that rival some state capitals. Some are architectually wonderful while others are horrendus. The county where I live has two standing. The earliest built in 1858 burned in 1891. A seperate 1869 addition still stands as does its 1893 replacement. Brown County's (Green Bay) is particularly interesting and its interior was recently restored to its orginal grandure. If I could get past my technical inability to post pics here, I would!
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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 3:53 AM
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Here is our new Courthouse under construction. You can decide for yourselves whether or not it is beautiful, but it is at least huge...



The historic courthouse is that little yellow building to the bottom-left.
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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 4:59 AM
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The Richard J. Daley Center, Chicago



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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 5:07 AM
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The Buncombe County Courthouse is the tallest in North Carolina.



It replaced this.

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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 5:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
The Richard J. Daley Center, Chicago
Nice on the outside, mean on the inside. But the views from the 29th floor are some of the best I've ever seen. Hopefully I can get some photos one of these days.
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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 5:15 AM
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mean on the inside.
i completely disagree. i love the stark, modern high-volume courtrooms in the daley center. unfortuantely, i don't have any pics to show.
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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 5:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
i completely disagree. i love the stark, modern high-volume courtrooms in the daley center. unfortuantely, i don't have any pics to show.
I guess I meant "mean" not in an aesthetic sense but moreso in the sense of the people who are there. The Daley Center is a daily grind. There are a lot of pissed off people there--attorneys, judges, plaintiffs, defendants, librarians, security guards.
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  #9  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 5:55 AM
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this web site shows all the courthouses in texas. personaly these countys have the best looking:Wise County, Victoria County, Tarrant County, Shackelford County, Red River County, Parker County, McCulloch County, Hays County

http://www.texasescapes.com/Texas_ar...ourthouses.htm

oh ya i suck at spelling so forgive me if i miss spell anything
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  #10  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 7:05 AM
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Pennsylvania has a diverse collection of beautiful courthouses... here's a few from the Western and Central regions of the state.

Allegheny County (Pittsburgh, PA) ...always hard to get a decent pic of this due to the extremely tight urban fabric here...


Elk County (Ridgway, PA)


Jefferson County (Brookville, PA)


Berks County (Reading, PA)


Centre County (Bellefonte, PA)


Blair County (Hollidaysburg, PA)


Mifflin County (Lewistown, PA)


Clinton County (Lock Haven, PA)


Cameron County (Emporium, PA)


Fayette County (Uniontown, PA)
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  #11  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 7:45 AM
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Texas does have some gorgeous ones. In San Antonio, the Bexar County Courthouse:


Wise County (Decatur):


Shackleford County:


Lampasas County:


Astacosa County:


Coryell County:


Ellis County (Waxahachie):


the last 6 images are from this site:
http://www.airforcebase.net/personal/architecture.html
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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i_am_hydrogen View Post
Nice on the outside, mean on the inside. But the views from the 29th floor are some of the best I've ever seen. Hopefully I can get some photos one of these days.
I'm waiting for these!

And: The Daley is a highrise courthouse...this is quite unusual. I like
the architectural style of the Daley Center a lot. It's a modern classic!

Hey Steely Dan, you like the DaCe, right? Second reply of yours I've read
that featured the Daley aiming to it's beauty, which most of the 'forumers'
don't share.... (I do!)
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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 1:25 PM
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Allen County Courthouse, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Dedicated: 1902
Architect: Brentwood S. Tolan
Contractor: James Stewart
Cost $800,000

The Beaux Arts-style Allen County Courthouse replaced a badly-deteriorated 1861 brick structure on the same site. Thanks to the effort of the Allen County Courthouse Preservation Trust, it recently underwent a $9 million restoration of its interior design features, scagliola (faux marble) and Charles Holloway murals.

All images copyright (c) 2004 by Robert E. Pence



































































To obtain a physical copy or download a printable pdf of the 2006 Indiana Historic Preservation Month poster, click here for the web site of the Department of Historic Preservation and Archeology.
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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 2:14 PM
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The Granddaddy of them all: the United States Courthouse (NYC)
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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 2:25 PM
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Some Northeast Ohio County courthouses:

Cuyahoga County:



Trumbull County (Warren):


Mahoning County (Youngstown)


Stark County (Canton):
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  #16  
Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 8:40 PM
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I really like those courthouses with statues on top. Here's an historic postcard photo of the historic Henderson County Courthouse, down in the Asheville-Hendersonville area's secondary hub.



This courthouse was built in 1904, and is currently undergoing renovation as county offices and a museum, while the new courthouse, a nondescript Greek temple-ish affair, opened in 1995.

Regarding these statues on top, though, with some of these statues, the physical features are exaggerated so as to appear normal when viewed from the ground. If you get a close look at the statue though, the effect is hilarious. There's a bronze copy in the new courthouse of the statue atop the old one. From the ground she looks like a lovely lady. Up close, she's a bug-eyed, frog-faced mutant with a little something extra -- two-inch-long nipples. This was done to give just a hint of boobies from the ground, but it looks freakish up close. They had to grind the nipples down before they could display the statue at the new courthouse.
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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 9:29 PM
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San Francisco doesn't have an attractive county courthouse because until very recently, local courtrooms were on the top floor of City Hall. In the 90's, a new separate courthouse was built but it's a pretty prosaic building. What we do have is the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals--the appeals court for Federal cases with jurisdiction over much of the western US. The only appeal of their judgements is to the Supreme Court, and they have a lovely and grand "Renaissance Palazzo" building on Mission St.:









This is it just after the 1906 earthquake


To quote:

Quote:
The The U.S. Court of Appeals Building at Seventh & Mission Streets has been described as one of the most ornate public buildings in America. It was designed by James Knox Taylor, Supervising Architect of the U.S. Treasury Department, and built in the Italian Renaissance Palazzo style. It was one of the few buildings to survive the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. The U.S. General Services Administration has undertaken an extensive program of seismic stabilization and restoration of the building.

Walking through its gleaming marble halls and ornate courtrooms, one is dazzled by the opulence of materials-a rich variety of marbles and mahoganies, redwood, bronze, colored Venetian glass and porcelain tile-and the extraordinary craftsmanship that created these exquisitely detailed interiors. With its grand marble colonnades, cherubs and vaulted ceilings adorned with intricate mosaics and classical tracery, the building feels like a Florentine Renaissance palazzo. It is one of the finest examples of the American Renaissance style-a distinctly American expression of French Beaux-Arts classicism-that dominated civic architecture at the turn of the century. The imposing granite edifice was designed in the 1890s by James Knox Taylor, chief architect for the U.S. Treasury Department, to house the federal courts and the main San Francisco post office. Taylor oversaw the construction of many Beaux Arts federal buildings around the country. The San Francisco courthouse, which opened in I905, is his masterpiece. In its grandeur, extravagance and exuberance, the building expresses the wealth, optimism and pride of a nation proclaiming its new status as a great imperial power.
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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 9:48 PM
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As for the original question, just like most all state capitols were designed off classical structures, so are historic courthouses, and Texas is just one of many states with beautiful courthouses. I thought it was pretty obvious that most county's historic courthouses were built for beauty?
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Old Posted Dec 13, 2006, 9:53 PM
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if i was able to figure out how to put pictures i would but Boquillas got my point across with the texas pictures
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  #20  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2006, 3:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LMich View Post
As for the original question, just like most all state capitols were designed off classical structures, so are historic courthouses, and Texas is just one of many states with beautiful courthouses. I thought it was pretty obvious that most county's historic courthouses were built for beauty?
Partly. By the late nineteenth century, many of the earlier courthouses were no longer adequate to the task and were run-down. Many had been poorly built in the first place, and lacked adequate sanitary facilities, heating systems, light and ventilation that had become commonplace in newer buildings by that time.

Many of them were either built of wood or of brick or stone with timber-frame interiors, and were firetraps. Courthouse fires were common and sometimes intentionally set by someone with an agenda, destroying court records and property records.

County administrators saw the need for modern fireproof or fire-resistant buildings, and many counties were then experiencing a period of prosperity. County officials weren't subject to very rigid standards of fiscal responsibility and accountability, either, and some saw an opportunity to build impressive memorials to themselves that would occupy a prominent place in the county seat for many years to come. The construction of imposing buildings wasn't so much a civic rivalry as it was a personal rivalry between county commissioners.

The weight of their self-indulgence fell on the backs of the taxpayers, and in more than one case the political careers of the commissioners named on the cornerstones and brass plaques ended with the next election.

Upon seeing Indiana's 1884 Tippecanoe County Courthouse in Lafayette, Mark Twain is reputed to have commented that "it must have cost the taxpayers a pretty penny."
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