You are here
Buena Vista Heritage Museum (Old Chaffee County Courthouse and Jail)
For a safe full of county records stolen from Granite in a successful effort to capture the county seat designation, Buena Vistans erected this two-story brick courthouse inscribed in stone, “Dedicated to Justice 1882.” Leadville architect George E. King produced the design, executed by local builder Die-drich Fisher, who also built an early Fremont County courthouse in Cañon City, Fisher constructed this courthouse and the matching jail for $50,000. He used red brick with hand-tooled sandstone from the Ruby Mountain Quarry near Nathrop for the foundation, quoins, and trim. The classic Italianate edifice has central, pedimented bays on each side and a high-hatted octagonal cupola. Edward Kruger, a German tinsmith, produced the paneled and bracketed cornice and the metal roof for the cupola with its stag weathervane. After Buena Vista lost the county seat to Salida in 1928, this became a school, to which the WPA added a gym in 1937. Since the 1980s, the courthouse has been restored and occupied by the Buena Vista Heritage Museum. The second floor contains a display with scale models of the Alpine Tunnel and the three railroads that chugged into Chaffee County.
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.