Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The Old Courthouse
The old county courthouse building, corner of Main and Washington streets. This is the main pediment, showing the arched windows of the second floor courtroom. See below for the full façade.
When it was first completed in 1896 (after a 1797 courthouse had been torn down), a local resident touted it as "the cheapest good building and best cheap building" ever built in the county.
This courthouse has been the center of much controversy in Lexington over the last decade or so. The county of Rockbridge, which owns the building, had allowed in to fall into disrepair. A former judge (now deceased) caused the state of Virginia to bring a suit against the county and city for repairs and upgrades. To make a long story short (and such things seem always to be a very long story around here, and often to involve lawsuits), a new modern courthouse 3 times the size of this one is nearing completion 2 blocks away. And no one will ever call it the cheapest good building ever built in these parts.
The Main street façade of the old courthouse: