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Cumberland County Courthouse

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1818–1821, William A. Howard; 2002 addition, Moseley Harris and McClintock. Anderson Hwy. at Courthouse Cir.

The Cumberland county seat is a rambling community centered on the courthouse. Small in size, its proportions and design give it the dignity desired by the Cumberland commissioners when they contracted for the “exterior front of the building, to be after the Tuscan order, according to Palladio.” The building has a three-bay pedimented Tuscan portico with a full entablature and a molded cornice that encircles the building. The gable ends of the main block are also pedimented. The courthouse is entered through recessed, paneled double doors below a pediment with a pulvinated frieze. In the 1960s, the Flemish bond brickwork on the facade and American bond on the sides and rear were mercilessly sandblasted and repointed. At the same time, the interior of the courthouse was remodeled, ostensibly to undo the 1874 remodeling by James A. Grigg. The large side and rear addition by a Richmond firm created a new court-room and offices. Entrance to the addition is through a portico that echoes the old one but is discreetly placed in front of the recessed new wing.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Anne Carter Lee

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