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12-02-2019, 01:15 PM - 3 Likes   #1
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Courthouses

I find it interesting and somewhat amusing, that local governments characterize themselves in the architecture of their courthouses. Usually with a good bit of arrogant self-aggrandizement. This one, for example, is in Warrenton, Virginia, and was built in the late Eighteenth Century, when the roads were dirt and muck and the surrounding buildings were stick-built shacks. This one is still in use as the Fauquier County General District Court (traffic, misdemeanors, and small-value civil cases), and still has a small balcony to accommodate the "colored folk" (unused since the 1950's, I think). From the exaggerated steeple and Ionian columns, you'd think it was some kind of imperial structure. (Picture taken early on a rainy morning.)

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12-02-2019, 02:35 PM   #2
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Nice shot. Your description of the social environment when such court houses were built is interesting. I had not looked at it from that perspective. We do like to send messages about how important we are - or think we are.
12-02-2019, 03:03 PM - 2 Likes   #3
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I worked in a county courthouse for 30 years, the last 12 of those as an elected official. I now work part time for a company that contracts with cities and counties and so I get to see a lot of courthouses. I have started taking a picture of each one I visit.

The picture below is the Early County Courthouse located in Blakely, Georgia.
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12-02-2019, 03:38 PM - 3 Likes   #4
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Note: The is also a thread on Public Buildings, so if it's not a courthouse, post it there.

Hardin County Courthouse in Kenton, Ohio (completed in 1915), first the exterior decorated for Christmas, then a couple of inside looks






12-02-2019, 04:17 PM   #5
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Hardin County Courthouse in Kenton, Ohio

QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
Note: The is also a thread on Public Buildings, so if it's not a courthouse, post it there.

Hardin County Courthouse in Kenton, Ohio (completed in 1915), first the exterior decorated for Christmas, then a couple of inside looks




Hey ramseybuckeye, that is a beautiful courthouse.
12-02-2019, 04:22 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ttedders Quote
Hey ramseybuckeye, that is a beautiful courthouse.
I would have to agree, and they have always kept it up.

Here is the Greene County Courthouse in Xenia, Ohio


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Last edited by ramseybuckeye; 12-02-2019 at 05:04 PM.
12-02-2019, 09:40 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlh Quote
I find it interesting and somewhat amusing, that local governments characterize themselves in the architecture of their courthouses. Usually with a good bit of arrogant self-aggrandizement. This one, for example, is in Warrenton, Virginia, and was built in the late Eighteenth Century, when the roads were dirt and muck and the surrounding buildings were stick-built shacks. This one is still in use as the Fauquier County General District Court (traffic, misdemeanors, and small-value civil cases), and still has a small balcony to accommodate the "colored folk" (unused since the 1950's, I think). From the exaggerated steeple and Ionian columns, you'd think it was some kind of imperial structure. (Picture taken early on a rainy morning.)
I see it differently. The people of an earlier generation understood that justice had to be dispensed from a place of dignity and honor.
12-03-2019, 04:08 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by reh321 Quote
I see it differently. The people of an earlier generation understood that justice had to be dispensed from a place of dignity and honor.
That's certainly true, though I don't see it as an inconsistent explanation. Having worked in courthouses for the past thirty years or so and seen the inner workings close up, I think the "dignity and honor" thing is a combination of propaganda and intimidation. It's important that the "just plain folks" take the judicial system seriously for purposes of social control. A professor of mine once explained the system of tort law as a big trick designed to make people stop hacking each other up behind the castle to settle personal quarrels. If they believe they can get "justice" from The System, then they'll be more placid and thus more productive (like sheep).

But that's all my own brand of hogwash pseudo-historical explanation, which matters not a whit. I reckon each of us has his own brand of hogwash and in the long run, none of it is worth the powder and shot required to blow it away. What's important is the pictures. Anyone can look at a picture and see what's there for himself. And, while I'm somewhat cynical about the motives for constructing such edifices, I do admire the architecture.


Last edited by dlh; 12-03-2019 at 04:35 AM.
12-03-2019, 04:40 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
Note: The is also a thread on Public Buildings, so if it's not a courthouse, post it there.

Hardin County Courthouse in Kenton, Ohio (completed in 1915), first the exterior decorated for Christmas, then a couple of inside looks...
Very impressive. Looks a lot like the interior of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria. Most courts now prohibit carrying cameras into the building, so I expect such pictures will be rare.

I can't help wondering what lens that was, to be able to do so well at ten millimeters. Or was there a lot of distortion correction required?
12-03-2019, 01:08 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlh Quote
Very impressive. Looks a lot like the interior of the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria. Most courts now prohibit carrying cameras into the building, so I expect such pictures will be rare.

I can't help wondering what lens that was, to be able to do so well at ten millimeters. Or was there a lot of distortion correction required?
That was taken with the Tamron 10-24. I took those in 2013, I don't think there was much correction beside basic Lightroom lens correction. I don't have the lens anymore, I really didn't use it as much after getting the DA 15.
12-03-2019, 03:02 PM   #11
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Newton County, Arkansas
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12-03-2019, 03:42 PM - 2 Likes   #12
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Accomack County Court House and bike ride rest stop.

12-03-2019, 07:55 PM - 2 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlh Quote
That's certainly true, though I don't see it as an inconsistent explanation. Having worked in courthouses for the past thirty years or so and seen the inner workings close up, I think the "dignity and honor" thing is a combination of propaganda and intimidation. It's important that the "just plain folks" take the judicial system seriously for purposes of social control. A professor of mine once explained the system of tort law as a big trick designed to make people stop hacking each other up behind the castle to settle personal quarrels. If they believe they can get "justice" from The System, then they'll be more placid and thus more productive (like sheep).

But that's all my own brand of hogwash pseudo-historical explanation, which matters not a whit. I reckon each of us has his own brand of hogwash and in the long run, none of it is worth the powder and shot required to blow it away. What's important is the pictures. Anyone can look at a picture and see what's there for himself. And, while I'm somewhat cynical about the motives for constructing such edifices, I do admire the architecture.
I think you "own brand of hogwash pseudo-historical explanation" is pretty good. There were alsovast differences in the society and economies of different regions in the early times of the Colonies and United States because of the different ways the country was settled. Ay different times there were immigrants coming in large numbers from different areas of Europe, There were the early Puritans from England, then there were different English immigrants, along with lots of Scots-Irish, then there were the people from the different German states, and later there were waves of the Irish and Italians. They all brought different customs and ideas. And the way land was distributed brought different kinds of settlers. In Ohio alone there are regions that were heavily populated with New Englanders (like the Connecticut Western Reserve and the Ohio Company of Associates), others by Scots-Irish coming via Virginia (Virginia Military District), others by the Germans through Cincinnati and up the Miami and Erie Canal. I just don't think you can lump the way these buildings were built by the same reasoning. Also, a lot of these courthouses weren't the first, they were often replacing older buildings that burned down. (I know this from doing a lot of genealogical research and finding out why many old public records from certain counties are not available.) . So I think in some cases they wanted to make them a little more "substantial".

Enough rambling, here's the Crawford County, Ohio Courthouse in Bucyrus, followed by the Holme County, Ohio Courthouse in Millersburg.


20 Hours Ago   #14
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The "old" Fluvanna County Courthouse (1830), and "The Fluvanna County Courts Complex".
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18 Hours Ago - 2 Likes   #15
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Montgomery County Courthouse, Carksville, Tennessee
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