The Kanawha County Courthouse was originally assembled at Fort Lee in the home of George Clendenin, the man responsible for the first permanent settlement of the Kanawha River Valley. After the incorporation of Kanawha County, the justices voted to construct a courthouse during their first gathering. A one story log cabin was the first official courthouse of Kanawha County, and was replaced by a two story brick building that existed from 1817 to 1888. The current Kanawha County Courthouse was established in 1892, and has served the community since. Additions were made in 1817 and 1824, both designed by local architect, H. Rus Warne.
the establishment of the Kanawha County, court was held at Fort Lee in the
Mansion House, and the decision to build a courthouse was decided during the
first meeting of the justices. A levy resulted in the creation of a one story
log cabin on property belonging to George Alderson, which served at Kanawha
County’s courthouse until 1817. A two story brick court house was constructed
in 1817. In 1849, the open market beside the courthouse was destroyed during a
cholera outbreak in Charleston, and offices for the courthouse were built in
its place. In 1888, the brick courthouse was demolished over the course of two
days because it could not suit the needs of the growing city.
The current Kanawha County
Courthouse was erected on the same site in 1892. An architectural firm from
Richmond, Virginia, Shieff and Highnam, won the bid to design the new
courthouse. In 1917, prominent West Virginia architect, H. Rus Warne, designed
the additions that shaped the courthouse into an “L.” These additions,
finalized in 1924, extended the building onto the corners of Kanawha Street and
Virginia Street. In the 1930s, the statue that was originally installed at the
top of the tower vanished. With the additions of 1817 and 1824, the Kanawha
County Courthouse spans the length of an entire block. All of the buildings
that have served as the Kanawha County Courthouse have existed on the same
piece of property.