The Schuylkill County Courthouse occupies the site of the former courthouse, an Italianate building constructed in 1849–1851. It was the site of several of the Molly Maguires trials and executions. Perhaps the lingering animosity over that terrible time as well as the continuing growth of the county led to the decision to demolish and replace the then forty-year-old building. The new building was the work of the most prolific builder of Pennsylvania courthouses in the late nineteenth century, Buffalo-native Beebe, who designed courthouses for Cambria, Huntington, and Warren counties. After service in the Civil War, Beebe began as a carpenter's assistant, then studied architecture in Buffalo, New York City, Chicago, and Boston until 1873, when he established his own office. His inspiration for this courthouse was H. H. Richardson's New York State capitol in Albany, evident in the grouped round-arched windows of the upper stories and the mansard roof. The interior has been modernized but cast-iron stairs with emphatic chamfers demonstrate Beebe's Victorian roots. The adjacent wing with its aluminum panels below the windows is the 1931 work of Eric Fisher Wood. Nearby at Laurel and N. Centre streets is Pottsville's City Hall (1936), a Moderne cube by the local firm of Grootenboer and Knobloch.
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Schuylkill County Courthouse
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