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Monroe County Courthouse


The Monroe County Courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [1] Adaptation copyright © 2009, The Gombach Group.

Description

The original building or section of the Monroe County Courthouse was constructed in 1890. The architect was T.I. Lacey and Son and the builders R.S. Shiffer and Sons. The Monroe County Courthouse building is 62' wide and 185' long, three stories, attic and basement. The exterior is made of coursed ashlar sandstone from a quarry near Scranton, Pennsylvania with carved limestone details on the chimneys, dormer windows, entrances, and bell tower. It had four stone chimneys. The sloping roof was covered with slate. At the top of the roof was a flat area surrounded by ornamental iron railing. The windows are double-hung wooden windows. The exterior and interior walls are masonry load bearing. The floors are concrete over an oval-shaped pan and supported by sled beams. The attic floor and roof structure are of heavy timber construction.

The Monroe County Courthouse building has a wide central corridor on the basement and first floors. County offices are housed on the first floor. A wide, spacious iron stairway graces both the front and rear hallways.

On the second floor is the Courtroom which is the full width of the building and two stories in height, containing a balcony. The Courtroom seats 250 people. This floor also contains the Judges Chambers, Attorney's Room, and Jury Room. On the third floor are two Grand Jury Rooms, the balcony to the Courtroom and other essential rooms.

An addition was built to the above building in 1934. The architects were H.T. Rinker and M.R. Kiefer. There was no contractor for the building, but almost every mechanic in Monroe County was employed under a PWA Program. A.L. Rake of East Stroudsburg was the construction supervisor. The addition was the same size and identical in appearance to the original building. Two of the chimneys on the original building were removed and rebuilt on the addition so that the total structure has four chimneys.

The original stone quarry was re-opened and its sandstone blocks used in the addition. The construction of this addition was similar to the original, except the structure has a structural steel frame and reinforced concrete floors. The attic floor is concrete and the roof structure is steel with a fireproof nailable deck.

The first floor of the 1934 addition contains County Offices, i.e. Register and Recorder, and Prothonotary and Clerk of Courts, in addition to the Treasurer's Office. The second floor contains a small Courtroom two stories in height, a Law Library two stories in height, and the Law Library Balcony which provides storage for cabinets of vital law reference books.

The attic of this section houses an Archives Library of newspapers going back to the early 1800's, and deeds, tax records, and other vital statistics.

The basement is utilized for Civil Defense purposes and for offices related to that of the County Commissioners, the Probation Department, and similar Monroe County functions.

Significance

The Monroe County Courthouse serves all judicial needs of the county and is the central point from which residents and visitors obtain their comprehension of Law and Order throughout the region. The Court presently (March, 1978) has two Judges, a third to be added, and processes one of the heaviest case loads for a Sixth Class County in all of Pennsylvania. The Sheriff's Department works from the Courthouse, and the District Attorney's Office is contained herein. The extensive Law Library is one of the most beautiful rooms in the entire complex.

The simplified Romanesque style of the Monroe County Courthouse reflects the majestic feelings toward public buildings of the late 1890's. Built of native stone, the Monroe County Courthouse is the single most impressive governmental building in all of Monroe County. The interior decorations also reflect this pride and grandeur in the public buildings of this period. Its tall doors with transoms, seven foot wide stairwells with wrought iron railings and black and white mosaic marble floors are just some of the original features that cause the Monroe County Courthouse to remain the central structure in the town of Stroudsburg.

References

Monroe County Archives

  1. Janet Weidensaul, Chief Clerk, Monroe County Commissioners, Monroe County Courthouse, nomination document, 1978, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

See Map

Street Names: 7th Street North, Monroe Street

**Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. You should independently verify any information you use for decision making.
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