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Powhatan County Courthouse

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1849, Alexander Jackson Davis; 1992 addition, Browne, Eichman, Dalgliesh, Gilpin and Paxton. 3880 Old Buckingham Rd.
  • (Photograph by Tim Buchman)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • Wing (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • Wing (Photograph by Mark Mones)

The original portion of this diminutive courthouse is one of Virginia's architectural masterpieces. Davis's lovely Greek Revival courthouse is temple form with stuccoed walls scored in imitation of masonry. Its portico in antis with two fluted Doric columns is flanked by Doric pilasters. Along the building's sides, similar pilasters separate the eight bays, three of them with long windows. The original specifications decreed that the door and window frames be sanded to resemble stone. Davis intended that the facade's full Doric entablature be continued around the building, but the builder trimmed those plans. He slightly simplified the entablature on the facade and made it plain along the side walls. The interior has been remodeled several times and much of the original fabric has been lost. The recessed wings, hyphens, and rear addition of 1992, designed with as much discretion as possible, have enlarged the courthouse enormously.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee
Anne Carter Lee



  • 1949

  • 1992


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "Powhatan County Courthouse", [Powhatan, Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Virginia vol 2

Buildings of Virginia: Valley, Piedmont, Southside, and Southwest, Anne Carter Lee and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 280-280.

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