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Bradford County Courthouse

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1896, Lehman and Schmitt; 1983–1989, interior restoration, R. K. R. Hess. 301 Main St.
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • (© George E. Thomas)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)

Bradford County Courthouse replaced an 1849 building and is the Northern Tier's last and most imposing courthouse. The work of a firm based in Cleveland, Ohio, its green terracotta dome surmounted by a statue of Justice anticipated the early-twentieth-century dome of the state capitol ( DA20), while the courthouse's ribbed dome, rock-faced Barclay sandstone walls, and dressed stone five-bay entrance pavilion dominate the town center. The recently restored rotunda, lit by windows in the dome's octagonal drum, affords access to the offices. At the courthouse's southeast corner stands the two-story brick prothonotary's and register's office (1858), long known as the “Fire-proof.”

On the recommendation of New York City architect Charles Romeyn, the county commissioners in 1895 decided to set the new building back from Main Street to afford a sweeping approach while leaving space in front for a memorial to “the War of the Rebellion” (1901). Supplied by the Pennsylvania Memorial Association of Philadelphia, the thirty-four-foot-high Vermont granite memorial includes full-figure statues of the four branches of the Union forces capped by a flagbearing color sergeant standing atop a cluster of polished granite columns. It ranks among the state's most imposing Civil War monuments.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas

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