Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

151-0003-0001 Fairfax County Courthouse and Jail

Fairfax County Courthouse and Jail
Photo credit: Calder Loth, 2022

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

See link(s) below to view additional documentation.

VLR Listing Date 10/20/1973

NRHP Listing Date 05/03/1974

NRHP Reference Number 74002235; 81000673

The Fairfax county seat was moved to the village of Providence, now the city of Fairfax, in 1799. The new Fairfax County Courthouse was designed by James Wren, who also designed Falls Church and Christ Church, Alexandria. Wren’s courthouse combines an arcade, a feature of colonial courthouses, with the temple form, a building shape favored for many Classical Revival buildings. This combination continued to be employed for Virginia courthouses into the antebellum period. During the Civil War the courthouse was used as a military outpost by both Union and Confederate soldiers. At various times it was visited by Confederate generals P. G. T. Beauregard and Joseph E. Johnston, as well as by President Jefferson Davis. The Fairfax County Courthouse, a reminder of this suburbanized county’s link with the past, continues to house court function.

A 1980 Fairfax County Courthouse and Jail nomination amended the boundary to include only the northernmost portion of the present courthouse lot, including the original courthouse block in the old wing of the present courthouse complex, and the 1885 jail northwest of it.  The 1930 addition to the original courthouse has been excluded.  The Fairfax County Courthouse and Jail are located within the boundaries of the City of Fairfax Historic District.
[VLR Listed: 11/18/1980; NRHP Listed: 10/1/1981]

1980 Boundary Increase Nomination

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

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

Updated: May 23, 2022