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Montgomery County Courthouse

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1890–1891, H. C. Koch and Company. Northwest corner of 2nd and Coolbaugh streets
  • Montgomery County Courthouse (David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim)

The Milwaukee architect of the Montgomery Courthouse, Henry C. Koch (a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects), designed courthouses in Kansas, Iowa, and Wisconsin. His 1890–1891 building replaced a modest 1857 two-story wooden building that had been moved in 1866 to Red Oak from Frankfort, the first county seat. Koch provided the county with the then-fashionable Richardsonian Romanesque image, but his design strongly conveyed a High Victorian atmosphere. This was due to the verticality of the design and to the emphatic division of the building into two layers: the raised basement and the ground floor sheathed in light tan Missouri limestone, and then the area above in red pressed brick and terracotta. The seven-story clock tower at one corner is balanced at the other corner by a bay tower capped by a Queen Anne roof with a segmented dome. The roofscape is sprinkled with vertical projections: a central pencil-thin cupola, small towers, a tall ribbed chimney, and numerous finials. The Montgomery County Courthouse is one of Iowa's principal contributions to the design of the nineteenth-century American courthouses.

Writing Credits

David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim


What's Nearby


David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim, "Montgomery County Courthouse", [Red Oak, Iowa], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Iowa, David Gebhard and Gerald Mansheim. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993, 340-341.

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