Historic Courthouse

Historic Courthouse

Historic Courthouse

The Cherokee County Courthouse is a five-story Classical Revival building made of native marble.   It dominates the town’s open square.   Its floor plan is that of a half-H with an open portico connecting the front extensions.  The building has many fine details, including four sculptured open-winged eagles above the Corinthian columns, a carved cartouche honoring Cherokee County with the 1927 date of the start of the building’s construction, and carved “Union Jack” designs spaced throughout the building’s cornice.

The Courthouse is architecturally significant because it is one of Georgia’s few native-marble courthouses.  It is one of the few Georgia courthouses designed by A. Ten Eyck Brown of Atlanta, one of the Southeast’s foremost architects.  The destruction by fire of the earlier Cherokee County Courthouse was announced in The Cherokee Advance of March 11, 1927.  The New Court House Commissioners of Cherokee County had already been created by the Georgia General Assembly on August 2, 1921, and thus were already available to go into action with this crisis.   Construction was financed through a bond issue for $150,000.  Through negotiations with the Georgia Marble Company in nearby Tate, Georgia, the county was able to secure  a good price for the native stone and used it rather than brick.

The jail was built on the fourth floor of the new courthouse. The jail was used until 1989 when the jail on Chattin Road near Univeter Road was completed.  The jail was designed to hold approximately 33 prisoners; in a later configuration approximately 50.  In fact, by the end of its use up to 80 prisoners were common.  As the inmate population grew, the kitchen was converted to a booking room, and later as a cell.  The food was prepared offsite, often by the sheriff’s wife.  A prison “trustee” (prisoner in good standing) would be sent to gather the food and bring it to the jail.

The Historic Marble Courthouse was renovated in 1997 by the County Board of Commissioners. The historic courtroom is still used for special events.

 

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