With its austere blocky composition of Indiana limestone and its use of aluminum, then a relatively new material, this courthouse epitomized modernity. Bold planar massing steps back from the entrance portal and up from the main block of the three-story facade, a style that has come to be known as PWA Moderne, for the Public Works Administration. Windows are grouped in tall vertical bands, linked by aluminum spandrels, ornamented with a scalloped pattern. An elaborate aluminum grille ascends nearly the full height of the portal above the entrance doors. Aluminum also ornaments the domed lobby, but frescoes on the lobby walls lend the space a sense of warmth. Francis Scott Bradford, an Appleton native and nationally prominent muralist, depicted themes of settlement, labor, and family, each accompanied by Bible verses. Also in the lobby stands a bust of Joseph McCarthy, the Republican senator from Wisconsin who chaired the notorious hearings on alleged Communist infiltration of the U.S. government in the early 1950s. In 1939, McCarthy launched his political career as a circuit judge in Appleton and had an office here until 1946.
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Outagamie County Courthouse
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