Occupying a full city block, this monumental four-story courthouse, constructed of smooth-dressed whitish limestone, reigns over down-town. Its size and classical formality contrast with the smaller stores lining the surrounding streets. The courthouse was one of the costliest and most imposing county buildings in the state, a testimony to oil boom prosperity. The massiveness of the flat-roofed rectangular block is enlivened by the two-story-high rows of Ionic columns encircling it. Medallions with alternating motifs of the scales of justice and the lamp of knowledge adorn the spandrels between the second and third-story windows. Outlining the third floor is a terra-cotta parapet with anthemia, and recessed behind the parapet is a fourth story, which originally contained the county jail; its windows are covered with decorative but functional grilles. The interior is just as grand as the exterior, with the gray marble-sheathed lobby organized around a two-story skylit atrium supported on tall piers with gilded and polychromed molded plaster Composite capitals. The same material forms a Doric frieze whose metopes are filled with rosettes. Polychrome rosettes and anthemia ornament the bronze balustrade that surrounds the atrium and borders the staircases, the newel posts of which terminate in bronze griffins.
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Union County Courthouse
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