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Dauphin County Courthouse

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1941–1943, Lawrie and Green with Paul P. Cret. S. Front and Market sts.

It is easy to miss the county courthouse in the midst of the bombast of the capitol complex ( DA20) but it deserves a look. Its sleek Moderne styling suggests that Cret and his associates learned much from Harry Sternfeld's federal building in Philadelphia ( PH44). The array of sculptures on the exterior reflects the Beaux-Arts overlay of iconography common to the era; many of the figures are by Carl Jennewein, the sculptor of the Philadelphia Museum of Art's west pediment ( PH123). A youthful male embodies the Triumph of Law over Evil, a powerful image as American soldiers fought for global liberation while the building was being completed. Within, a remarkable array of colored marbles on the floors and rare woods on the walls marks the shift toward the celebration of materials over detail that characterized midcentury modernism.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Dauphin County Courthouse", [Harrisburg, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 2

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, George E. Thomas, with Patricia Likos Ricci, Richard J. Webster, Lawrence M. Newman, Robert Janosov, and Bruce Thomas. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 344-345.

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