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Buchanan County Courthouse

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1905–1906, Frank P. Milburn and Company; 1917, Milburn, Heister and Company; 1984 addition, Price, Rothe, Muse Architects. Main St. at Walnut St.
  • (Virginia Department of Historic Resources)

One of the finest public buildings in all of southwestern Virginia, this imposing courthouse dominates the center of Grundy. Milburn's firm was also responsible for the reconstruction of the courthouse after a 1915 fire gutted its interior. Above gray rusticated sandstone walls, the courthouse's exaggeratedly tall corner clock tower is an apt reflection of the high mountains and rugged terrain that surround this small town. Like other designs by Milburn, this Romanesque Revivalflavored building draws from several sources. The tower with a shallow pyramidal roof and wide eaves above an open belfry seems inspired by historic Italian examples. Now covered by a shallow hipped slate roof above a modillion cornice, the building was designed for a tile roof with exposed rafters. The building's first-story single and paired windows are deeply recessed and topped by rectangular transoms, while those on the second story are separated by pilasters and topped by fanlights. A small stone porch with a stone balustrade provides the principal entrance. The large stone addition with an enormous square tower and round-arched openings designed by a Blountsville, Tennessee, firm is a minimalist version of Milburn's design.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee

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