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Lee County Courthouse - Opelika, AL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member xptwo
N 32° 38.760 W 085° 22.751
16S E 652020 N 3613203
Quick Description: Lee County was created by the legislature in 1866 and Opelika was selected as the county seat. This courthouse was the second one in the county and was completed in 1896.
Location: Alabama, United States
Date Posted: 7/17/2013 5:37:26 AM
Waymark Code: WMHJWQ
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 0

Long Description:
The courthouse is located on South 9th Street, between Avenue A and Avenue B. It is the second courthouse. The first was built in 1867 by Horace King, who became famous as a bridge builder after obtaining his freedom before the Civil War. The second courthouse was built in 1896. To put that in perspective, Grover Cleveland was president of the United States and the Spanish-American War was only two years away. The courthouse is open during normal business hours, Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 4:30pm.

The following entry from the Encyclopedia of Alabama gives the historical background (see Secondary Website 2):

"Opelika is the first and only county seat of Lee County. The first courthouse was built in 1867 by the formerly enslaved and renowned bridge builder Horace King. The two-story, brick building served as the county courthouse until a second courthouse was built in 1896 across the street from the original structure, which was eventually torn down. The 1896 courthouse has undergone a number of renovations since it was first built and continues to serve as the county courthouse for Lee County."

The following description comes from their 1973 nomination form (see Secondary Website 1):

"The Lee County Courthouse in Opelika is a large two-story neoclassical revival structure constructed of red brick and consisting of a central section and two wings. The central section has a portico with six round fluted columns supporting the roof pediment. At each end of the portico there is a square brick pilaster set against the wing. The front entrance consists of double paneled doors with a fan light above. Above the entrance on the second floor is a palladian window. There are four rectangular windows with cornices above on each floor of this section.

The outstanding architectural features of the building are the windows on the front of the wings. On the first floor there is a large sash with smaller sashes on either side flanked by Ionic fluted pilasters and topped by a simple architrave and a cornice with dentils. Above the cornice is a flat balustrade and above this on the second floor a modified venetian window having only a single sash surrounded by ornate scroll work. The building has a metal frieze with elaborate tool work. Above the frieze there is a cornice with dentils.

There is pediment above the four central columns that is also elaborately decorated. Above the pediment there is a square brick steeple which is topped with a cornice with dentils. This is capped with a clock tower that is square on the lower level with palladian type louvre windows flanked by Corinthian towers. Above this is a cornice with dentil work and above_the cornice-a clock surrounded by scroll work. Above the clock is a simple circular cornice surmounted by a circular dome that is capped with a small ornament."
Street address:
215 South 9th Street
Opelika, AL USA

County / Borough / Parish: Lee

Year listed: 1973

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering

Periods of significance: 1875-1899

Historic function: Government

Current function: Government

Privately owned?: no

Hours of operation: From: 8:30 AM To: 4:30 PM

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 2: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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