Friday, October 19, 2012

Week 42.... The Color of a Landmark

I drive past this impressive building every day and being "not from Newnan", I never really learned the history of the courthouse.  It's actually quite impressive!
Did you know that the building standing today is not the original Newnan Historic Courthouse?
The original courthouse was built in 1829 and the temple-like edifice had once served as a Civil War hospital. In 1903 the citizens of Newnan wanted to keep the courthouse while the commissioners had other plans. To pay for a new courthouse the commissioners imposed a direct tax, and they tore down the old courthouse in the middle of the night. The reason they did this was that no one would be able to protest the demolition because the courts would not have been opened to block the destruction legally.
Today we have the Neo-Greek Revival courthouse, which was built in 1904. The dome, which rises more than 100 feet above the square, was fitted for a four-face clock that was originally hand wound but was converted to electric in the mid 1900’s.  Architect J.W. Golucke. who designed at least 20 Georgia courthouses, used copper liberally on the upper portions of the building, covering every cornice as well as the dome of the clock tower with the metal. Having weathered to a dark patina, it now contrasts strongly with the red brick walls and light gray columns, creating a distinctive look not seen anywhere else in Georgia. Another notable feature is the state seal set within the pediments, a reminder that the county's are creations of the state.  In recent years it has also gained a new role as a location for movie-making, thanks to its well-preserved architectural details and absence of discordant remodeling.

And as Paul Harvey used to say " and now you know the rest of the story"


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