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Old Lehigh County Courthouse (Lehigh County Courthouse)

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Lehigh County Courthouse
1814; 1864, Gustav A. Ansbach and Eber Culver; 1880; 1914, Henry Anderson. 5th and Hamilton sts.
  • (© George E. Thomas)
  • (© George E. Thomas)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)
  • (William E. Fischer, Jr.)

Before Lehigh County's courthouse opened in 1817 two blocks east of Center Square, court proceedings took place in a hotel and then in the jail once it was completed. The Federal-style building was modeled after the first Lycoming County Courthouse in Williamsport, but its appearance was completely masked by a Civil War–era renovation that doubled its size. The addition and renovation transformed the courthouse into an eclectic Victorian design by Williamsport's Culver, with a new entrance facade featuring a raking cornice, Palladian windows, balcony, and double doors. In 1880, a brick library wing was attached to the rear and a much larger, more ornate cupola added to the roof. In 1914, a rear wing, larger than the existing building, was added. Built to the design of local architect Anderson, it was in the confident, imposing style of the Renaissance Revival that meshed so effectively with City Beautiful planning schemes. In 1964, a new red and gray granite courthouse (Wolf and Hahn) opened across 5th Street. The old courthouse is now a museum.

Writing Credits

George E. Thomas


What's Nearby


George E. Thomas, "Old Lehigh County Courthouse (Lehigh County Courthouse)", [Allentown, 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, 292-293.

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