Learn the history of North Carolina courthouse architecture
News imageNorth Carolina has over 100 existing courthouses, and no two look exactly the same. How many have you seen?

Take a fascinating tour through courthouse design history by reading Monuments to Democracy: Architecture Styles in North Carolina Courthouses (.pdf), a publication by NCAOC's Ava Barlow.

The judicial system, as one of three branches of government, is one of the main foundations of democracy. North Carolina's earliest courthouses, none of which survived, were simple, small, frame or log structures. Ancillary buildings, such as a jail, clerk's office, and sheriff's office were built around them. As our nation developed, however, leaders gave careful consideration to the structures that would house important institutions how they were to be designed and built, what symbols were to be used, and what building materials were to be used.

Over time, fashion and design trends have changed, but ideals have remained. To reflect those ideals, certain styles, symbols, and motifs have appeared and reappeared in the architecture of our government buildings, especially courthouses. This article attempts to explain the history behind the making of these landmarks in communities around the state.
Publish Date: 06/18/2013