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Wythe County Courthouse

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1906, Frank P. Milburn. S. 4th St. at W. Spring St.
  • (Photograph by Tim Buchman)

When the county court decided to move from its location on Main and Church streets, design bidding was keen. Bartholomew F. Smith of Washington, D.C., who designed many clerk's offices and jails around the state, was considered but rejected in favor of Milburn. Between 1896 and 1908, Milburn designed five county courthouses in Southwest Virginia in as many styles. Wytheville's imposing seat of justice is a plainer and more compact version of Milburn's Beaux-Arts design for Smyth County (SM1). The buff-colored brick courthouse on a rock-faced coursed ashlar base has a projecting pedimented portico with colossal Corinthian columns and a full entablature facing S. 4th Street. A similar two-story portico that projects only slightly from the building marks the side entrance on W. Spring Street. The courthouse is crowned with a square bell tower surrounded by small Corinthian columns and corner niches, and is capped by a polygonal dome with clocks on four of its faces. Milburn used variations of this cupola on several of his commissions. The interior has a central lobby with a decorated ceiling, scroll brackets at intersections with subsidiary hallways, and stairways with turned balusters and squared newel posts.

Writing Credits

Anne Carter Lee


What's Nearby


Anne Carter Lee, "Wythe County Courthouse", [Wytheville, 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, 452-452.

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