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1785 Court Square; 1862–1864, Thomas Dixon. Bounded by N. Court, W. Church, Record, and Council sts.
  • (Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie)

Erected as the Frederick County Courthouse after an 1861 fire destroyed the original 1785 Georgian courthouse, the building became the city hall when a new courthouse (100 W. Patrick Street) was built in 1982. When completed in 1864, the courthouse signaled the transformation of Frederick from industrial hub to civic epicenter, followed by other public buildings such as a city hall and market house (1873; 124 N. Market Street). Reflecting the latest architectural trends, the two-story building with a tall central pavilion and a cupola encompasses Italianate design reserved for Frederick’s best commercial, civic, and residential buildings. It was erected of manufactured pressed brick forming inset panels and decorative corbels.

The building is situated in Court Square, created c. 1785 as a civic center. The square’s gentrification into a fashionable residential address was sparked by the 1810 removal of the associated jail and offices and the construction of its first upscale residences. Local architect-builder Andrew McCleery constructed paired three-story Federal houses (1817; 103 and 105 Council) replete with elliptical transom and Frederick “top-hat” dormers for industrialist John McPherson. Paired Greek Revival houses (111 and 113 Record) of equal sophistication were completed the same year, followed by the Federal Richard Potts House (1818, Robert Mills; 100 N. Court).

Writing Credits

Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie



  • 1785

    Court Square established
  • 1862

    Courthouse built
  • 1810

    Jail removed
  • 1873

    City hall and market house built

What's Nearby


Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie, "COURT SQUARE AND FREDERICK CITY HALL (FREDERICK COUNTY COURTHOUSE)", [Frederick, Maryland], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Maryland, Lisa Pfueller Davidson and Catherine C. Lavoie. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2022, 334-334.

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