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Mason County Courthouse

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1954–1956, Harry Ray Nay. Southeast corner of Main and 6th sts.

Mason County's first log courthouse served from 1804 to 1857, when it was replaced by a handsome building with pedimented facade and belfry. In 1928 the county considered building a new courthouse, to be designed by architect Levi J. Dean of Huntington. Nothing came of these pre-Depression plans, and by 1941 the WPA's West Virginia: A Guide to the Mountain State disparaged the old building as “a worn two-story brick structure.” Although it was demolished two decades later, some sentiment for the old building had surfaced, and it was commemorated in a handsome and unusual way in its replacement: a two-story bas-relief on the Main Street wall of the present structure depicts the building in perspective and gives its dates, 1857–1953.

This, the third courthouse, is faced with smooth limestone ashlar on its three major elevations and presents a formal, severe facade to 6th Street. The five-part composition has a fivebay central section recessed between one-bay sections that are, in turn, recessed between three-bay end pavilions. Each section decreases in height as it advances in plane. Across Main Street from the courthouse, on axis with 6th Street, which now dead-ends here, a marker commemorates the 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge.

Writing Credits

Author: 
S. Allen Chambers Jr.
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Citation

S. Allen Chambers Jr., "Mason County Courthouse", [Point Pleasant, West Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/WV-01-MS5.

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