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La Plata County Courthouse

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1959, C. Francis Pillsbury. 1989, Caudill Gustafson Ross and Associates. 1060 E. 2nd Ave. (between 10th and 11th sts.)

Durangoans razed their old (1892) Italianate stone courthouse after Francis Pillsbury, a Denver architect, designed a two-story, orange brick, rectilinear wing that was left free-standing. Thirty years later a team of Aspen architects added another wing in the same boxy form as Pillsbury's work with a contemporary version of a dentiled cornice in metal, recessed windows, and a second story of slightly cantilevered cubes. They tied the wings together and gave the fullblock complex a distinctive entry through a central, three-story Neo-Victorian bell tower crowned with a wrought iron crest. The old courthouse bell and Seth Thomas clock were repaired by Durango automobile mechanic Tony Ferdinando and installed in the tower.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "La Plata County Courthouse", [Durango, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 557-557.

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