Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More info about our Court House

I found this online in a site about our town. This is the court house at nite. Below is a description of it, but it does not cover the controversial addition that was recently completely behind the courthouse, and attached via an annex. The new section houses offices and storage, and provides much more secure parking underneath, for the judges, who used to have to park out in the open on the street.

The Courthouse was built around 1857 in the Greek revival style. Anyone interested in historic buildings and architecture won't want to miss this building and the beautiful courtroom appointed with walnut benches and judges' chairs along with other period furnishings. The Courthouse currently houses the Fifth District Appellate Court for the State of Illinois.

The Abe Lincoln Connection
One of the favorite U.S. presidents, Abraham Lincoln, argued cases at this location including a tax case where he represented Illinois Central Railroad.

The Building and The Ox-cart

Local legend has that it took three weeks to bring the twin wrought iron stairways on the outside front of the building from St. Louis to Mt. Vernon via ox-cart.

The building is a two-story brick built in the shape of a Maltese Cross. It has simple classic lines with two fluted pillars supporting the front gable in the center of which is a medallion of the scales of justice. Visitors will find rooms with extremely high ceilings, arched openings in the inner walls, and wide woodwork. Originally, the rooms were heated by huge fireplaces. The ground floor contains four bedrooms with private baths for the use of the justices when they are in Mt. Vernon and an apartment for the clerk. The second floor has the courtroom, the clerk's office, the judges' conference room, and the attorneys' waiting room.

Emergency Hospital and Clara Barton
Hospital records in Mt. Vernon show that at the time of the tornado on February 19, 1888, an emergency hospital was housed in the building under the supervision of Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross.


I am going to ask the Clerk if I am allowed to take photos inside the courtroom, it is really imposing and impressive. There is probably a rule against it, but I will ask and see what happens. Then bench is really gorgeous


Carol said...

OMG it gets more beautiful and interesting as you continue with the pics and stories.

Yes, I agree with you about "standing" where Lincoln stood. But I have a huge imagination and in my "mind's eye" I can imagine being a lady in my special sunday dress listening to him argue/plead a case.

The church building is nice too. Have you ever been to downtown Paducah?


Carol said...

Off topic as they say! Have you ever been to Adsmore Museum in Princeton, Kty?


Holly said...

Oooooo, I love the tidbits like the ox cart and Clara Barton.

thank you Paige!

Jamik said...

Very interesting. I just love historic buildings, especially courthouses. Very cool!

Paige said...

Yeah, I have been in Paducah a lot, but not the other place you mentioned. Paducah is a neat town

Robin Sallie said...

I worked at the Lexington herald Leader newspaper as a photojournalist for several years in the late 80s. I *love* to be sent to Paducah. I loved that old town. I haven't been to the Adsmore Museum nor to Princeton. i'll have to fix that the next time I am in KY. Thank you Carol, for the tip.

Robin Sallie said...

I have found that taking a foto a day has expanded my mine a bit. I am taking the back roads to get places so I can spend time just looking (while I drive.)

And stories come from thinking about the news things I find to photograph. When I worked at a newspaper, the stories where someone else mostly and my job was to illustrate them.

Now I can *own* both the words and the pictures.

Carol said...

Piage and Robin Sallie, Paducah has the most beautiful churches as far as the architecture.

Robin, Adsmore is 304 N. Jefferson Princeton Ky. 270 -365-3114 and In Jan thru Feb they have the house arranged/decorated for a Victorian Wake. the other months are special themes ending with the Victorian Christmas which is beautiful. The docents "tell the story of the Adsmore family preparing for Christmas" Truly a neat place.

Enjoy Carol

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