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Pocahontas County Courthouse

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1893–1895, Manly Manufacturing Company and Millard F. Giesey. 1970s. Southeast side of 10th Ave. between Judge and Jury sts., on axis with 9th St.

Located in a residential area in the eastern part of town, several blocks from the commercial area, this muted red brick building with a profusion of sandstone trim displays a curious but restrained blend of Romanesque Revival and Queen Anne elements. Millard F. Giesey, usually associated with Wheeling architects Frederic F. Faris and Edward B. Franzheim, worked alone here.

A slightly projecting one-story entrance bay at the center of the facade is emphasized by short stone columns supporting an exaggeratedly robust stone arch. On either side of the entrance are towers of unequal height. Tall triple-sash windows on the first and second floors help establish a strong vertical accent. A steep hipped roof covers the main block.

The brick was sandblasted and repointed in the 1970s, and a one-story office addition, or annex, was completed in 1976. Although it makes no serious attempt to relate to the earlier building in design, the annex respectfully uses the same materials and is properly relegated to sides and rear. A separate jailer's residence combined with a jail, part of the original complex, stands behind the annex. It accords well with the courthouse in its simple Romanesque lines, brick walls, and rough stone windowsills and lintels. Behind it, a new jail was added in 1926.

Writing Credits

Author: 
S. Allen Chambers Jr.

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