At the heart of the town lies “The Circle,” now a traffic roundabout and park inside a courthouse square. (The historic name for this park was “the circle of the Public Square.”) Election results have long been delivered here in a Return Day ceremony, with a big cookout and a carnival atmosphere. Federal cavalry imposed order on election day 1862. The Circle was integrated into the state's paved highway system about 1921. As late as the addition of the Post Office (1932), with its colorful terracotta ornament, buildings around The Circle were modest in size. After World War II, however, several old structures were replaced with big Colonial Revival boxlike structures, including Farmers Bank (1971, R. Calvin Clendaniel Associates) and Sussex County Family Court (1986–1988, French + Ryan), the latter derived from the Governor's Palace in Colonial Williamsburg. Also echoing Williamsburg is the Sussex County Administration Building, for which the post office was nearly razed (1996, R. Calvin Clendaniel Associates). Only public outcry prevented the demolition of the Brick Hotel (ES8) in 1999 for another such modern building. The park within the Circle was refurbished in 2001–2002.
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