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Wyoming County Courthouse

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1916, A. F. Wysong. North side of Main St. (WV 97) between 2nd and 3rd aves. in center of Pineville
  • Wyoming County Courthouse

This extraordinarily handsome neoclassical temple of justice dominates Wyoming's small county seat. Its architect maintained offices in two West Virginia cities, Princeton and Charleston, and it was built by D. J. Phipps, a Roanoke, Virginia, contractor. The building is a three-part composition, with a monumental, tetrastylar Roman Doric portico supporting a full entablature on the central block. Bold cornice projections provide strong shadow lines that emphasize the pediment. The much too diminutive scale of the square cupola, straddling the ridge of the roof, provides the only jarring note. Lower two-story wings, capped with balustraded parapets, flank the central mass. The building is faced throughout with rough-faced ashlar, quarried nearby. Windows have dressed stone surrounds, and corners are quoined. The combination of a smooth portico fronting a purposefully rough stone mass works well in its setting. The building stands high on a level terrace, backed by a wooded hillside, and seems at once to challenge and respect its landscape.

The terraced lawn that slopes from the courthouse down to Main Street is dotted with several memorials, none more endearing than the one at the center of the middle terrace of the axial stairway. This prime space usually would be reserved for a Civil War or World War I monument. Instead, here stands a white marble statue of “Rev. W. H. H. Cook (1840–1923) Soldier—Statesman—and Minister.” Imported from Italy and unveiled in 1924, the statue rests on a high sandstone and granite base. It shows Rev. Cook preaching from his marble pulpit, wearing his usual frock-tailed coat and sporting a nicely trimmed and combed beard. Although the good reverend might not like the comparison, his statue is similar to the almost contemporary statue of “Devil Anse” Hatfield in Logan County ( LO9).

Writing Credits

Author: 
S. Allen Chambers Jr.
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Citation

S. Allen Chambers Jr., "Wyoming County Courthouse", [Pineville, West Virginia], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/WV-01-WY1.

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