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Mifflin County Courthouse



The Mifflin County Courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [1] Adaptation, and photo copyright © 2008, The Gombach Group.

Description

The Mifflin County Courthouse (1 West Market Street), originally constructed during the years 1842-1843, is a two and one-half story brick structure in the Greek Revival style. Originally measuring 46 feet by 82 feet, it features an impressive pedimented entranceway and stately cupola. The entranceway features four tall Ionic columns and two engaged pilasters supporting a triangular pediment which dominates the main facade. The front of the building is three bays in width with a main entrance also featuring a triangular pediment supported by engaged pilasters. The recessed doorway has a flush transom panel with a double-leaf, four-panelled door. Windows on either side are flat-arched with keystone and radiating voussoirs, and are characteristic of all first floor windows. The three second floor windows on the main facade are semi-circular in shape and framed with radiating voussoirs; this is also characteristic of second floor windows around the rest of the building.

An impressive boxed cornice with frieze and dentils is characteristic of the roof line around the entire building. A hexagonal-shaped domed cupola rests far above the roof line on a massive, three tiered tower. The first tier is rather plain, the second tier which contains the clock mechanism also features engaged Ionic pilasters at all four corners and decorated roof line while the third tier, hexagonal in shape and supports the cupola.

The interior of the original structure featured public offices on the first floor and the courtroom and grand & petit jury rooms on the second floor. The courthouse was enlarged in 1878 with an addition of approximately forty feet to the rear, thus enabling an expansion of office space. Presently, the interior first floor still features numerous public offices while the second floor has various offices, a large courtroom, judge's chambers, and a jury room.

Significance

The present Mifflin County courthouse is the third courthouse constructed in the county. The second courthouse, located on the square nearby, was demolished following construction of the present building. Movement for construction of the building began in 1837 when the older building began to require numerous repairs. In 1842, a contract was let to Holman & Simon, and constructed at a cost of $15,000, construction was completed by December of 1843. Enlarged in 1878, the plans and specifications were drawn by Daniel Ziegler and the contract was let to Buyers, Guyger, & Company for $9,095 which included the tower.

The courthouse has occupied its location on the square for over 130 years. Constructed in the Greek Revival style, the building is an impressive monument to an earlier era. One of the very few such structures in the area, its stately appearance is characteristic of its role as the focal point of political life in the county.

References

History of the part of the Susquehanna and Juniata Valleys embraced in the Counties of Mifflin, Juniata, Perry, Union, and Snyder in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in 2 volumes, (Philadelphia: Everts, Peck, and Richards, 1886, Vol. 1).

  1. Berman, David, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Mifflin County Courthouse, nomination document, 1976, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

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