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Amelia County Courthouse

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1924, Coopee Lai; 1987 additions, Hayes, Seay, Mattern and Mattern. 16441 Court St.
  • (Photograph by Tim Buchman)
  • (Virginia Department of Historic Resources)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)

This small unincorporated town was established in 1789 after Nottoway County was carved from Amelia County, necessitating a new central location for the county seat. Like the town itself, the spacious Amelia Courthouse Square is unpretentious and pleasant. The brick courthouse is set well back on the square and its form reminiscent of its 1850 predecessor that was demolished after it was found to be “dangerous to human life.” The design is by an architect and general contractor who immigrated from Thailand. Most of his designs were residences, but he also built warehouses and a few public buildings. The courthouse's classical forms are freely interpreted. The three-bay Doric portico has a central bay that is wider than its flanking bays in order to frame a pedimented entrance. A tall entablature supports a pediment that appears relatively small in scale and is decoratively outlined with dentils. The Circuit Court Clerk's Office (1907), now connected to the courthouse by additions, is a temple-form building of buff-colored brick with a pedimented portico, a simplified edition of the 1850 courthouse's portico, supported on four stark brick pillars.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee

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