Butler County Courthouse

The Butler County Courthouse is a government building of Butler County located in the county Butler, Pennsylvania. Butler County was established in 1803 from a section of Hamilton County. The county seat selected was Hamilton and the first courthouse was built 1806 and the second in 1817 on the site of the present structure.


The main entrance is reached by stairs which enter into a covered porch. Above the porch is a high design arch supported by Ionic columns. This arch in turn holds a pediment capped with an urn. The mansard-roof gives way to a central tower. The original tower was once four-tiered, domed, and capped with a statue of Justice.


This was destroyed in a fire in 1912 when the tower collapsed. It was replaced shortly thereafter with a massive tower and dome designed by local architect Frederick Mueller, but the dome was removed in 1926 after it was struck by lightning.


The lobby serves as a reception area as well as a museum housing the old clerk of court’s desk and an antique cabinet with the hand of the original statue of Justice. The lobby is illuminated by a skylight and contains a beautiful walnut double staircase.


The original courthouse, built in 1807, was a small structure made of stone. James P. Bailey, who was responsible for the construction of Old Main at Geneva College became the architect of the new courthouse after the second one was destroyed by a fire in 1883.


It was built in 1885, and is a three-story, brick and sandstone building in an interpretation of the High Victorian Gothic style. The courthouse was used until 1885 when it was demolished to make way for the present courthouse, the third on this site.


Its cornerstone was placed on October 29, 1885. The $305,000 four-story structure, with a similar four-sided clock that had been on the former courthouse, was completed and occupied on February 4, 1889. It could not have happened in a more visible or important place.


A courthouse has occupied the square bordered by what is now Court, Front, High and Second streets for more than 200 years. The first was built in 1810; the second, in 1817. The third is the one that burned in 1912.

Butler County Courthouse

Butler County Courthouse

It still exists, but with a different tower than when the structure was first built. In 1912, the city’s fire department was making the transition from horse-drawn steamers to motorized engines, the first two of which were put into service in 1911.


One of those motorized trucks was based at Engine Company One at B and Main streets, just across the Great Miami River from the courthouse. The “Ones,” as they were called, “made record runs to every fire to which they were called,” the Journal said. They were the first to arrive at the burning courthouse.


The Courthouse is an outstanding example of Second Empire architecture and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are so many famous places in the world and everyone wish they could visit all these places like me.


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