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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CUYAHOGA COUNTY COURTHOUSE - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

The CUYAHOGA COUNTY COURTHOUSE, located at Lakeside and Ontario streets, is the fifth such structure serving that purpose. The first was a 2-story log building constructed in 1813. Containing jail cells, a living room for the sheriff, and a 2nd-floor courtroom, it was replaced in 1830. (For a brief description of the second, third, and fourth courthouses, see ARCHITECTURE, CIVIC.) The fifth courthouse was erected on Lakeside Ave. at Ontario St. as part of the Group Plan proposed in 1903. The building was begun in 1906 and completed in 1911, at a cost of $4 million. The architects of the modern steel-and-concrete, granite-faced structure were LEHMAN AND SCHMITT, with CHAS. MORRIS† as chief designer. The courthouse is one of the finest examples of the Beaux-Arts style in the city and is ornamented with sculptures representing historic lawgivers. At the entrance stand bronze statues of Jefferson and Hamilton. Above the cornice are marble statues of Stephen Langton and Simon de Montfort by Herbert Adams; Edward I and John Hampton by Daniel Chester French; and John Sommers and Lord Mansfield by Karl Bitter. On the north side of the building are statues of Moses and Gregory IX by HERMAN MATZEN†, and of Justinian, Alfred, John Marshall, and RUFUS RANNEY†. The interior decorative scheme was under the direction of CHAS. SCHWEINFURTH†. It is noteworthy for the grand 3-story central court with vaulted ceilings, marble Ionic columns, and a balustraded mezzanine. An elegant curving marble staircase rises past a large stained-glass window representing Law & Justice.

Last Modified: 15 Jul 1997 02:16:25 PM

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