Ronald L. Andrews
Garrett County Courthouse
Third & Alder Streets, Oakland, Garrett County
The Garrett County Courthouse is a 1907-1908 neo-classical Renaissance Revival masonry structure in the form of a Latin Cross with a central rotunda. It is three stories high and has a low metal covered roof and dome. The south, west, and north wings are equal in length with the larger fourth wing projecting to the east or the uphill side. The equal length wings have tetrastyle Roman Ionic porticos (four columns) in front of the second and third floors. The ground floor serves as a rusticated base with three archways below each portico. The archways of the front or west side are open and form an entrance porch. The north and south archways are closed with windows. The sides of the east wing have Ionic pilasters of brick between the windows. The second and third stories are built of yellow brick. The building is encircled by a broad, dentiled cornice. The principal windows of the upper levels have double-hung wooden sashes with 1/1 lights. The second story windows have classical pedimented entablatures supported by scroll brackets. The third story windows extend into the cornice except for the inner windows along the east wing which have flat arches with keystones. The windows on the ground level have fanlights of one pane above casement windows. The tetrastyle porticos have stone balustrades with crossed balusters. The pediments above the porticos have raised floral sculpture with a center circular window in the south and north porticos and a clock in the front or west portico. The west portico has the name "Garrett County Courthouse" in applied letters above the open arches. These were apparently added in recent years. The low dome has an octagonal base decorated with anthemions and surmounted by an eagle with wings spread. On the interior, the rooms radiate out from a marble-floored central rotunda. The upper level rooms are arranged in galleries around the rotunda. The courtroom is located on the third floor of the east wing. The interior trim is symmetrical in form and that in the rotunda and galleries is grained in simulation of "golden oak."
The Garrett County Courthouse, a 1907-1908 Renaissance Revival structure, is the second courthouse erected in Garrett County since its formation in 1872. The first courthouse was built about 1877, and stood at Fourth and Green streets in Oakland, until it was replaced by a new and more elaborate structure in 1908. The Courthouse was designed by James Riely Gordon (1863-1937), a New York architect who had a reputation as a specialist in designing government buildings. Included among his works are the state capitol buildings of Arizona and Mississippi, nearly 70 courthouses, and a number of churches, hotels, and hospitals. While working on the Garrett County Courthouse, Gordon was associated with the New York architectural firm of Tracy and Swartout.