Situated on a bluff beside the Ouachita River, Camden became the seat of Ouachita County in 1843. The present courthouse, designed by a Little Rock architect, is a two-story T-shaped building of light brown brick in a late version of Colonial Revival. A single-story classical porch is composed of a pair of Doric columns supporting a simple entablature and balcony. The building’s first-floor windows are recessed within shallow arches and decorated only with a cast-concrete fleurde-lis-patterned tile centered above each, while above the second-story windows are swag-and-cartouche panels, but the decorative details are so flattened and minimized that the effect relates to the then-fashionable Moderne style. The wooden cupola is the most elaborate touch. Tall and square, it has windows and clocks on all four sides and is topped by an urn on a cylindrical base. Inside, the wide entrance hall has a cream terrazzo floor. This courthouse replaced a Gothic Revival building on the same site constructed in 1888 by Harding’s father, Thomas Harding Sr., that was destroyed by a tornado in 1931.
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Ouachita County Courthouse
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