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The Journal Gazette

  • Courtesy Built in 1908 and designed by J.W. Gaddis, the Huntington County Courthouse features stained glass under its dome.

Sunday, June 10, 2018 1:00 am

Courthouses offer architectural beauty

COREY MCMAKEN | The Journal Gazette


A number of veterans memorials in the area may be of interest, such as the Soldiers' Monument at the heart of Angola's town square. The 70-foot granite monument is topped by a 10-foot bronze statue of a woman holding symbols of peace and unity.

Built in 1917, it commemorates the Steuben County men who served in the Civil War.

Among others are “A Statue of Peace” at Third and Court streets in Decatur. The statue of a woman stands more than 12 feet atop an 18-foot pedestal and was dedicated in 1913 to the Adams County soldiers who served in the Civil War, Spanish-American War, Mexican War and War of 1812. 

The Veterans Memorial at Memorial Park, 1200 W. Park Drive in Huntington, was dedicated in 2015. It includes a Sherman tank, a Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star jet and a Purple Heart exhibit.

Ask someone about historic landmarks in the area, and they'll probably mention the replica Old Fort, a covered bridge or maybe one of the many museums dotting the region. If you run across a local historic building buff, you might get an earful about the Allen County Courthouse with its ornate architecture, artwork and stained glass. It was dedicated in 1902.

Courthouses are a good place to start if you're looking for historic buildings to visit. Many were built at a time when municipal architecture was less generic.

“I think pretty well every small town in this area has a historic courthouse,” says Jessica Grossman with a laugh. She is executive director of the Huntington County Visitor & Convention Bureau and points to her county's courthouse as a beautiful place for people interested in historic buildings to check out.

The Huntington County Courthouse, 201 N. Jefferson St., was designed by J.W. Gaddis and completed in 1908. It features Grecian architecture with Ionic and Corinthian columns and stained glass.

Here are details about other area courthouses:

Adams County, 112 S. 2nd St., Decatur – Designed in the Second Empire style by J.C. Johnson, the 1873 courthouse features red brick, stonework details and a clock tower.

DeKalb County, 100 S. Main St., Auburn – The 1911 building features Greek architecture, Vermont marble and Florentine art glass.

Kosciusko County, 121 N. Lake St., Warsaw – The building, featuring Second Empire architecture designed by Thomas J. Tolan & Son, was finished in 1884. It has a two-shelled dome with four clocks.

LaGrange County, 105 Detroit St., LaGrange – Designed by Thomas J. Tolan & Son, the red brick courthouse in Second Empire and Georgian design includes a clock tower. Work was completed in 1879.

Noble County, 101 N. Orange St., Albion – The building, designed by E.O. Fallis & Co. and built in 1887, features a square clock tower rising out of the center of the red brick building.

Steuben County, 206 E. Gate St., Angola – Constructed from materials native to Steuben County, the brick courthouse was built in 1868 and features an octagonal cupola with domed metal roof. It has elements of Greek Revival and Italianate architecture.

Wabash County, 1 W. Hill St., Wabash – Designed by B.V. Enos and built in 1878, it holds a place of honor in Wabash's claim as the first electrically lighted city in the world. At 8 p.m. on March 31, 1880, four “brush lights” atop the dome were lit.

Wells County, 100 W. Market St., Bluffton – Finished in 1891, the building was designed by George W. Bunting. Limestone and sandstone are used on the exterior, which includes arches and a clock tower.

Whitley County, 101 W. Van Buren St., Columbia City – With French Renaissance inspiration, the limestone courthouse includes a slate roof with an iron dome. It was designed by Thomas J. Tolan & Son and completed in 1890.