York County Courthouse

York County Courthouse • Order A Print

The beautiful York County Courthouse is easily one of downtown York’s most notable structures. Its three Florentine domes can be seen from miles away. The original building was constructed in 1898, while the east and west wings were added in 1957. This building was the third York County Courthouse. A replica of the first courthouse—known as the Colonial Courthouse—is located on West Market Street along the banks of the Codorus Creek. The second courthouse was constructed in 1838; of note, however, is the reuse of the granite columns from the second courthouse to the current structure. These towering columns are of the Ionic Order of Greek architecture. The building is primarily designed in the Neoclassicism (a.k.a., Classical Revival) Style, noted for the use of a colossal portico.

The domes were inspired by the Florence Cathedral (Renaissance Revival), while the main structure and wings also incorporate some ornate features of Beax Arts Classicism. The three Florentine domes have a number of notable features, including both Corinthian and rectangular pilasters, sculptured leaf roof elements, window pediments, dentil course, and—in the main cupola—a bell.

This building is a study in the Beaux Arts period of architecture, which was also known as the American Renaissance. The three styles that constitute this period—Neoclassicism, Renaissance Revival, and Beaux Arts Classicism—are all present in the York County Courthouse.

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© 2002 by Scott D. Butcher

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