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Old Fauquier County Courthouse

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1890, John R. Spilman, builder. Courthouse Sq., Main St. (south side) at Court St.

Perched on a hill at the north end of Main Street where five streets converge, the courthouse dominates the town. This structure bears an extremely close resemblance to the courthouse constructed in 1853, probably designed by William H. Baldwin. It was destroyed by fire in 1889, and Spilman, as indicated by newspaper accounts and surviving illustrations, essentially duplicated the 1853 building and its Ionic tetrastyle portico, steeple, and high basement. What differs undoubtedly is the yellow brick, more common in the 1890s than in the 1850s. The courthouse has such an ecclesiastical air that when president-elect Bill Clinton stopped in Warrenton on his way from Monticello to Washington for his inauguration, he mistook it for a church. Other buildings in the square bow to the dominant courthouse, but make their own statements.

Writing Credits

Richard Guy Wilson et al.


What's Nearby


Richard Guy Wilson et al., "Old Fauquier County Courthouse", [Warrenton, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Virginia: Tidewater and Piedmont, Richard Guy Wilson and contributors. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002, 114-114.

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