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Pitkin County Courthouse

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1891, William Quayle. 1987, rehabilitation, Gibson and Reno. 506 E. Main St. (northeast corner of Galena St.) (NR)
  • (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)

One of Colorado's oldest courthouses still in use blends Italianate and Second Empire influences. Art Nouveau calla lilies sprout from the mansard top of this building's crested, pilastered, pedimented, and faux-windowed tower rising in a three-tiered pyramid. The design was blasted by an 1889 Aspen Times critic as an “abortive architectural aspiration” appealing only to “farmers coming to watch the swallows nesting in the gingerbread roof.” The symmetrical, two-story body of the building is red brick, dressed with red sandstone trim around round-arched and square-headed windows. A silvery statue of Justice (minus her blindfold) stands in the entry pediment. The interior is in near-mint condition.

Writing Credits

Thomas J. Noel


What's Nearby


Thomas J. Noel, "Pitkin County Courthouse", [Aspen, 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, 491-492.

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