This week, the nation’s media seemed to focus on two places: Iowa and Norristown. Well, we don’t have anything in our collection from Iowa, so I thought it might be a good week to take a look at the Montgomery County Courthouse.
The original courthouse was built in 1787, and probably looked less cartoonish in real life. The courthouse and its neighboring office building stood where Public Square is now.
By 1849, the Montgomery County had outgrown both buildings. The current courthouse was designed by Napoleon LeBrun, who was also the architect of the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul and the Academy of Music in Philadelphia.
The building opened in 1854, at which time it had a steeple. The building is made of brick faced with marble from Schweyer & Liess, a marble quarry in King of Prussia.
The building cost $150,000. The top part of the steeple was removed in 1877 due to water leaking though the roof, and the whole thing was replaced by the current dome in 1904. The building was expanded in 1930 and 1968. Here are some shots of the construction for the 1968 expansion.
Over it’s century and a half of history, the courthouse has seen many trials, but I don’t know if any have gotten the attention that the current case has.