Courthouse - Van Buren, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 36° 59.706 W 091° 00.874
15S E 676677 N 4096171
Quick Description: WPA Project no. 168, still an active Courtney courthouse,original building - original purpose
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 9/8/2014 9:42:41 AM
Waymark Code: WMMEAM
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member thebeav69
Views: 0

Long Description:

County of project: Carter County
Location of project: Main St. & Oliver St., Van Buren
Date built: January 21, 1936

"The Work Projects Administration inventory record described Carter County's first courthouse, dated 1837, as a frame, two-story, four-room building put together with wooden pins. The fireplace and chimney were built of native sandstone. This early courthouse was located on the west bank of the Current River, one-half mile west and across the river from the present county seat. It was used while Carter County was a part of Ripley County, before separating in 1859. A commission voted to retain Van Buren as the county seat. The log courthouse also continued in use, but was supplemented with space in the Coleman Hotel.

"Court officials authorized a temporary courthouse to be built in 1867, west of the present square. Specifications called for a hewn-log house, 18 by 24 feet. They appointed James Snider superintendent.

"The court appropriated $3,000 in March 1871 to build a courthouse on the square. William Dawson, superintendent of public buildings, presented a plan and specifications, apparently provided by Peter Ake, who built the courthouse in December 1871. The court paid Ake $10 for providing a "diagram" of the courthouse. W. P. A. records describe it as a 40-by-40-foot, two-story building made of hand-planed pine lumber, on rock foundation, with six rooms.

"Early in the 20th century several proposals to build a new courthouse were defeated. Instead, the 1871 courthouse was remodeled, expanded, and covered with native cobblestones. The architectural firm of Heckenlively and Mark, Springfield, Missouri, planned the remodeling for a Public Works Administration project from 1935-37. The original plan called for 13 rooms and a jail. The courtroom seated 350. This is the only courthouse in Missouri known to have been built with cobblestones.

"The architects put a 30-by-70-foot addition on the east of the old square building. Interior remodeling placed the courtroom in the new addition on the second floor. Cost of the building was about $30,000. A P.W.A. grant provided $25,000; county funds paid the remainder. No bond issue was necessary. Cornerstone ceremonies were conducted Jan. 21, 1936, and the building, which is still the Carter County courthouse, was dedicated in August of the same year"
~ University of Missouri - Extension

Project type: Government building (non-park)

Date built or created: January 21, 1936

Location: Carter County Counthouse

City: Van Buren

Condition: Good upkeep with a little wear and tear

Website for additional information: [Web Link]

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