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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

118-0002 Old Lynchburg Courthouse

Old Lynchburg Courthouse
*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 04/18/1972

NRHP Listing Date 05/19/1972

NPS property number 72001508

Lynchburg’s temple-form former courthouse has been a dominant feature of the city’s skyline since its completion in 1855. It was designed by William S. Ellison, who came to Lynchburg as a division engineer with the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. The Doric portico with its paired columns is inspired by that of a Greek ruin, first illustrated in James Stuart and Nicholas Revett’s Antiquities of Athens (begun 1762). Although the portico and other details are based on published illustrations, Ellison’s design, employing implied side porticoes and a dome topped by a belfry, is a strikingly original composition. The building is dramatically located at the top of Monument Terrace, a steep flight of terraced steps constructed in 1925 as the city’s war memorial. Following the removal of court functions, the courthouse was restored in the 1970s as Lynchburg’s history museum.


Abbreviations:
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated April 4, 2018