present site for the Lunenburg County Courthouse site was selected in 1782 and a
two-room frame courthouse was completed in March 1787.
A new building was constructed in the mid-1820’s by Dabney Cosby and
William A. Howard. Significant alterations to the building included the
insertion of a second floor in 1857. In
1939, the inimitable Marcellus Wright, FAIA removed the original interior stairs
to the exterior . two run divided stair leading to the second floor. The second
floor housed the courtroom two
meeting rooms in the front, and a judge’s chambers, restrooms, and jury room
in the rear addition. The first
floor was modified to accommodate meeting a meeting room for the Supervisors and
the clerk’s offices, record rooms, and a solid concrete vault room. Further
modifications were made to the second floor to accomplish ADA compliance in
present courthouse is a two story Roman Doric structure, influenced by the
Thomas Jefferson Courthouses at Charlotte Court House and Goochland.
The old courthouse has served its noble purpose, but the current Judge,
Judge William “Billy” Wellon required restoration of the original courtroom
to be continued in use as the Circuit Courtroom.
The program for expansion prepared for Lunenburg by DASA suggested twenty
thousand additional square feet to accommodate the function of the General
District and Circuit courts business and record keeping.
The program was expanded further by the county to add an additional
twenty thousand square feet for the sheriff’s office, a courtroom that would
accommodate the Board of Supervisor’s public meetings, the officers of all the
Courts, and the Constitutional Officers and their offices of the County.
completed project was bid at about 15% over the projected budget and the County
Board of Supervisors rejected the design in its entirety, and ordered the
present courthouse designed and built by another architect.
design by Don Swofford, FAIA for Lunenburg is a timeless piece which can be
built in the future and drawings and specifications were transferred to the
Clerk of the County for safe keeping in anticipation of that event.