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Russell County Courthouse

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1874; later alterations and additions. Main St. at Court Ave.
  • (Virginia Department of Historic Resources)

This large building replaced an earlier courthouse destroyed in the fire of 1872. Its columns, though, survived and were reused here on the portico. Although conforming to the commonwealth's long-standing predilection for red brick courthouses with classical porticos, the building nevertheless proclaimed its late-nineteenth-century modernity with segmental-arched openings crowned with elaborate brick moldings and a wooden cupola with a clock tower covered by a bell-cast roof, popular features at the time. The four-columned central portico's pediment is trimmed with exuberant green-painted foliation, a golden roundel, and diamond motifs set in squares. Many alterations and additions to the courthouse—not all of them harmonious—have greatly enlarged the seven-bay T-shaped building. At its rear, an alarmingly large jail and courtroom/office building replaced the county jail (1905) designed by Henri Doriot of Bristol. The courthouse is positioned on the highest point in town and framed by a low stone wall capped with a late-nineteenth-century iron railing. Instead of its usual placement on the courthouse grounds, the Confederate monument (1914) is a block to the west on Main Street at Church Avenue.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "Russell County Courthouse", [Lebanon, 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, 493-493.

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