You are here

Old Grant County Courthouse

-A A +A
1878–1879. 1909, George F. Sansbury. South side of Virginia Ave. (U.S. 220) between Pepsi Ln. and Pine St.

As built, the former county courthouse was a severely plain brick building with a central twostory block flanked by lower two-story wings, all covered with hipped roofs. A glance at the unchanged rear elevation provides an idea of the original appearance. In 1909 Cumberland, Maryland, architect George F. Sansbury enlarged the building by extending the facades of the main block and the wings forward, those of the wings far enough to project beyond the central block. The configuration that resulted created a U-shaped facade, and the architect filled the central recess with a deep, tetrastylar, pedimented portico extending beyond the new wings. Fluted Corinthian columns rise from four exaggeratedly high bases, each of which displays a digit in the enlarged building's date. Behind, a pair of exterior stairs lead to a second-floor balcony that stretches across the front of the central block.

If somewhat unorthodox, the courthouse nevertheless presents an undeniably monumental image and remains Petersburg's chief architectural ornament. In 1976 a new courthouse was built nearby, and the older building currently houses a branch of Shepherd College. The unusual name of one of the streets flanking the building derives from a soft-drink distributing facility at the end of the lane.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.


What's Nearby


S. Allen Chambers Jr., "Old Grant County Courthouse", [Petersburg, West Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.