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Warren County Courthouse

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1875–1877, Milton Earl Beebe; 1916, Edward Albert Phillips. 200 4th Ave.
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)

This is one of the grandest representations of the Second Empire style among Pennsylvania's courthouses and was the first of five designed in the commonwealth by Milton Earl Beebe of Buffalo. All had the distinctive mansard roof, although they varied slightly in their details. Three of the courthouses remain in use in western Pennsylvania, this one and those in Cambria ( CA1) and Huntingdon ( HU1) counties. The courthouse in Elk County ( EL1) resembles this one, as the same contractor built it. Warren County's courthouse has concave mansard roofs set off by a pediment of Ohio limestone at the central bay on each side. A clock tower with a statue of Justice soars above the treetops. Warren architect Edward Albert Phillips (1870–1940) designed the rear addition. The single large courtroom on the second story, restored in 1998, retains the black walnut paneling with bullet holes from 1954 when Judge Allison Wade was killed on the bench—the incident that prompted the commonwealth to begin screening citizenry for weapons in courtrooms.

Next door, the former George H. Wetmore House (1873; 210 4th Avenue) was commissioned by Thomas Struthers for his daughter's marriage to businessman Wetmore. This Second Empire house was used as an office annex to the courthouse for fourteen years. Since 1964, the Warren County Historical Society has used it for a library, exhibition space, and archives.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Warren County Courthouse", [Warren, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 404-405.

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