MHT File Photo
Baltimore County Courthouse
400, Washington Avenue, Towson, Baltimore County
The Baltimore County Courthouse is located on a city block in Towson, Maryland, was an impressive rectangular block, 2 stories in height and 9 bays in length. The east façade was embellished with a 2-story Greek Revival porte-cochere with a pediment supported by fluted Doric columns. The large windows of both the first and second floor level were enhanced by a narrow, coved stone lintel with a decorative croisette. At a later date the shallow "A" frame roof of the main block was crowned with a centered, 8-windowed, pilastered, frame cupola bearing a domed copper roof. All of these original exterior treatments are preserved intact. In 1910 two-story additions were built at the north and south ends respectively, slightly recessed back from the façade (east) wall of the original structure, a successful carry
-over of the classical character of the building. It was also at this time that a rear (west) one-story wing was added to the west giving the structure an overall T plan. Later remodeling was completed in 1925, which included raising the west wing to two full stories and extending it almost twice its original length. In 1958, the final stage of the massive three-story rectangular block at the once exposed end of the 1910-1925 west addition and at this time the building evolved into its present H plan. The courthouse is pleasantly situated within a park-like courthouse green that is enjoyed frequently by visitors and townspeople alike.
The Baltimore County Courthouse has evolved over the years into one of the few "H"-plan buildings, public or private, in the state; nor are they common across the nation. Despite several remodelings and having sustained several additions, the Greek-Revival influence on the east façade remains strong. The small-town concept of the original village has gradually been overwhelmed by the inevitable expansion of Baltimore County, and it is ever increasing. The green, tree-shaded lawn adds to the cityscape of the Courthouse square in contrast to the multi-story post World War II office buildings around the perimeter of the lawn.