Wayne County, Indiana's Courthouse


Since Wayne County was established in 1810, it has had four courthouses. The current one, located at 301 East Main Street in Richmond, was completed in 1893. The architect for the project was James W. McLaughlin of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Architectural Style

The style chosen for the courthouse was Romanesque Revival, popularized by Henry Hobson Richardson, a flamboyant graduate of Harvard and student at the Exole des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1860-62. Richardson is often termed the father of modern architecture in the United States. His designs emphasized horizontal lines, rounded arches and masses of materials, often rough-cut stone. The Wayne County courthouse shows many similarities to the Allegheny County Courthouse in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania which was finished in 1887.

Construction Materials

Materials were gray granite from Concord, New Hampshire, lighter gray oolitic limestone from Lawrence County, Indiana, and red roof tile from Akron, Ohio. It required 600 car loads of Indiana limestone and 3 million bricks to construct it. The project employed 125 stone cutters on site to cut the stone to fit. The contractor, Aaron Campfield, used steam powered hoists to lift the stone into place.

Interior Features

The interior includes a grand marble staircase and an open well surrounded by open galleries. Wainscoting is marble and the woodwork is oak.

Renovations and Expansion

In 1976-1978 the county refurbished the courthouse and completed construction of a new administration building just east of the 1893 building. The new building is L-shaped with sloping glass walls and now houses most of the county offices. The tile roof on the original courthouse was replaced with grey slate.

National Register of Historic Places

The Wayne County Courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. It is Building #78000042.

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Did You Know?

William Jennings Bryan recorded his "Cross of Gold" speech in Richmond, Indiana at the Gennett Studios in the Whitewater Gorge.