Barristers Row (1-13 Court Place)

Posted on Oct 6, 2020

Originally constructed in 1843 by Augusta County, this is a 15 bay, single story, brick office building. The central pediment roof with end gables is covered with standing seam metal. The building includes eight corbeled brick masonry chimneys.

The building evolved between 1843 and 1909. Originally, a symmetrical five office composition including a central office with flanking wings, additions at the east and west ends in the late 19th and early 20th centuries completed the façade.
A triangular pediment dominates the central office, which includes window openings flanking a single door entry.
The pediment includes a cornice with cymatium, fascia and soffit with bed moldings. The eave continues the molding arrangement connecting the roof with the brick facade. The gable ends of are ornamented with return cornices, the eave moldings and shingles filling the gable. Indicative of the construction period, the brick walls of the 1843 offices are laid in Flemish bond.

The central office protrudes approximately one brick length from the flanking offices. Each two bay office includes a single door entry and a single window opening. Each window consists of single light, double hung wood sash. The office entries include a paneled door with transom. Molding details reflect classical elements with a simple cornice above each door and fluted jambs flanking the sides of the entry.

There is interesting historical correlation with the construction of this building and the designer of the 1835 courthouse, Thomas Blackburn. Blackburn worked directly with Alexander H.H. Stuart designing an addition at Stuart House and with the directors at the Western Lunatic Asylum. Blackburn’s design for a summerhouse at the Asylum is very similar to the architecture of 1-13 Court Place.

The illustrating may be found on page 220, Plate XCV, In Jefferson’s Shadow, The Architecture of Thomas R. Blackburn by Bryan Clark Green. Further research will be required to understand if Thomas Blackburn was involved with the design of 1-13 Court Place.