Marion County Courthouse
Lepi Enterprises was contracted by a general contractor to participate in the historic restoration of the Marion County Courthouse in downtown Fairmont, West Virginia. The courthouse is a Beaux Arts-style structure, distinguished by monumental Corinthian porticoes and an impressive dome. Designed by the noted architectural firm Yost and Packard of Columbus, Ohio, bids for construction were opened in June 1897. The accepted bid, for $130,643, went to the Westwater and Company of Columbus, versus the Hamilton Brothers of Wheeling and G.W.L. Myers of Fairmont. The courthouse was mostly completed by mid-1900, with the grounds work finished by June. The imposing two-story government building is located at the corner of Jefferson and Adams street.
Its exterior highlights included three two-level Corinthian porticoes on three sides of the courthouse, a raised basement and a front, elevated entrance flanked by a hexastyle portico and a two flights of curved stairs, appointed with decorative metal lamp fixtures. The pediment was detailed with a dentiled cornice, framing a tympanum that was composed of a carving featuring justice, power, agriculture and mining, the work of W. D. Priest. Near the apex of the pediment was an eagle with outstretched wings that signified power, and below that was the Scales of Justice. To the right was a mining car and a shovel, with a man signifying the coal mining heritage. The porticoes at the east and west end of the courthouse was tetrastyle in design, with the Jefferson Street portico featuring a flight of steps. The dome’s sides were pedimented and centered with the clock faces. The belvedere of the dome was surmounted by a large figure holding the Scales of Justice, and the roof of the dome included swags and oval reliefs.
The interior featured a two-story rotunda, with a dome consisting of a 16-panel stained glass skylight. The plaster moldings, in the Corinthian order, grace the arched openings and entablature of the rotunda. The corridor roofs were barrel vaulted that included 25 coffers, nine of which contained stained glass.
In 1960, the courthouse’s ground floor was renovated by L.D. Schmidt and Son. Additional first floor renovations in the county commissioners’ office and the Division II Circuit Courtroom were finished in 1977. The building is currently undergoing a $1.9 million renovation project.
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