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Waukesha County Historical Society and Museum (Old Waukesha County Courthouse)

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1885–1894, Rau and Kirsch; 1938–1939 west wing. 101 W. Main St.
  • (Photograph by Paul J. Jakubovich, courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society)

H. H. Richardson’s Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh inspired many late-nineteenth-century imitators, including this courthouse, Waukesha County’s second. Its rock-faced walls, gabled entrance pavilions, heavy-arched portals springing from squat stone columns, stocky towers guarding the corners (though round with conical roofs), and a three-stage tower soaring above a hipped roof reveal Richardson’s influence. Rectangular windows on the first story and round-arched ones on the second lighten the ponderous mass. Stone transom bars and sills band both levels, festooned spandrels are set beneath the second-story sills, and a dentil course is at the eaves. A west wing, added in 1938–1939, links the courthouse to the stone jail of 1885, a simple box with rectangular windows, a hipped roof, and gabled wall dormers.

Writing Credits

Marsha Weisiger et al.


What's Nearby


Marsha Weisiger et al., "Waukesha County Historical Society and Museum (Old Waukesha County Courthouse)", [Waukesha, Wisconsin], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Wisconsin

Buildings of Wisconsin, Marsha Weisiger and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017, 197-197.

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