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Lamoille County Courthouse

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1911, Z. T. Austin. 154 Main St., Hyde Park village

The construction of this courthouse reaffirmed the shire-town status conferred on its village on the north bank of the Lamoille River in 1836. A 1910 fire that destroyed the original frame courthouse along with much of the core of the village made Hyde Park vulnerable to competition from booming Morrisville. However, by buying shares in a “Village Improvement Society,” locals began the rebuilding of their Main Street with churches, library, and opera house, and convinced the legislature to fund a replacement courthouse.

For the new brick and brownstone building, Burlington architect Z. T. Austin repeated a plan and massing used twice before in the state, at the Second Empire Chittenden County Courthouse (1872, Edward C. Ryer) and the Queen Anne–detailed Addison County Courthouse (1883, Clinton G. Smith), but this one differed in style. Austin's building used Colonial Revival detailing on its three-part facade. The slightly projecting end bays are treated as towers, one of which rises an additional story as a belfry and has a hipped clock dormer on each face. The entrance porch has Tuscan columns and a union jack balustrade. The second-floor windows are round headed with radial muntins that are like simplified Federal fans, and the hipped roof has small hipped dormers. Inside, offices are on the first floor and the courtroom on the second. The courtroom is finished with fine fluted Ionic pilasters carrying a continuous entablature that frames the large windows and an elliptically arched judge's alcove. On either side of that alcove, pedimented frontispieces on Ionic pilasters frame the arched doors to the judges' chambers and jury room. Though Ryer's courthouse burned and Smith's was decommissioned and its courtroom remodeled, Austin's courthouse is still in use and virtually unaltered in form and detail, preserving a significant Vermont type.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson
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Citation

Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson, "Lamoille County Courthouse", [Hyde Park, Vermont], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/VT-01-LA7.

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Vermont

Buildings of Vermont, Glenn M. Andres and Curtis B. Johnson. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 222-222.

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