Andreas described the courthouse, then under construction, as “magnificent.” “The building,” he went on to note, “is in the form of a Greek cross, one hundred feet each way, with four fronts exactly alike. The building is constructed of cut stone [limestone], taken from the excellent quarries near the place, and is surmounted by a grand octagonal dome.” 47 The architect of the courthouse, Alfred H. Piquenard of Saint Louis and Chicago, along with his partner, John C. Cochrane, entered a number of competitions for midwestern governmental buildings. Their most widely known public building was the Illinois State Capitol at Springfield (1871–1874). For the courthouse at Winterset, Piquenard provided an Italianate scheme with single-story entrance piazzas repeated on all four facades of the building. He then topped his composition with a faceted roof upon which was placed a high vertical octagonal drum and dome. The architect's design was partially restrained by the need to utilize the foundation of the earlier courthouse (designed in 1868 by G. P. Randall), which had burned in 1875.
Andreas, Atlas of the State of Iowa, 1875, 483.