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Old Rockbridge County Courthouse

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1896–1897, William G. McDowell. 2 S. Main St.
  • (Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)
  • (Photograph by Sally Munger Mann, courtesy of the Historic Lexington Foundation)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)
  • (Photograph by Mark Mones)

In 1896, local architect McDowell won the design competition for the new courthouse that would replace the building of 1790. The rusticated first floor, second-story round-arched windows, cross gable, and pedimented roof are Renaissance Revival. One of the first buildings in the community to be constructed of commercially produced pressed brick, the courthouse is trimmed in Kentucky bluestone. Victorian-era wooden trim survives in the lobby area, which also has an impressive encaustic tile floor, ornate brass hardware on the doors, and a massive wooden staircase that leads to the courtroom on the second floor. The county was proud of its new courthouse and one official called it “the cheapest good building and the best cheap building ever erected in Rockbridge County.” It served as the county's courthouse until 2009 when the court moved into a new building (RB7). A private developer adapted the old building for office and meeting space.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "Old Rockbridge County Courthouse", [Lexington, 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, 122-122.

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