You are here

Marion County Courthouse

-A A +A
1897–1900, Yost and Packard. 1960, 1973–1974, and 1977, renovations, L. D. Schmidt and Son. 1987, courtroom restoration, Ralph Pederson. Northwest corner of Adams and Jefferson sts.
  • (West Virginia Collection within the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division)
  • Marion County Courthouse (Library of Congress)

A rusticated basement, smooth ashlar walls of Cleveland sandstone above, impressive Corinthian porticoes, a full entablature with balustrade, an octagonal drum capped with a gilded dome, and a copper figure of Justice presiding majestically over all proclaim the Beaux-Arts classical idiom in stentorian terms. Along with the Cabell County Courthouse, this is West Virginia's finest example of a monumental “county capitol.”

A typical Beaux-Arts classical stairway, complete with turnings and stone balustrades, leads to the main entrance on Adams Street. Above the doorway, a plaque with gilt lettering gives the dates of construction and names the architects, the superintendent of construction (T. L. Burchinal), and the contractors (J. Westwater and C. A. Abernathy). Both architects and contractors were from Columbus, Ohio. High above, the tympanum of the portico's pediment contains a sculptured group by W. D. Priest that nicely combines classical and local subjects. An eagle and scales of justice preside, but a coal miner, mining car, and shovel are also depicted. Inside, marble-paved corridors with vaulted, coffered ceilings lead to a central two-story rotunda under the dome. The rotunda and the elaborately trimmed second-floor courtroom both have stained glass skylights.

Writing Credits

S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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.