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The six-story Old Sedgwick County Courthouse was designed by Wichita architect W.R. McPherson in the Victorian Renaissance style beautifully executed in native limestone and characterized by the steeply pitched roofed towers and the large windows. The courthouse was first constructed in 1888 and completed in 1889 for $197,329. The courthouse served as the seat of county government until a new eleven-story building was completed directly across Main Street in 1959. The Old Sedgwick County Courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places and remains an impressive reminder of civic architecture.

Old Sedgwick County Courthouse.

Plant, Window, Sky, Tree

This is a postcard showing the Sedgwick County courthouse in Wichita, Kansas.

Building, Handwriting, Plant, Window

Old Sedgwick County Courthouse.

Sky, Cloud, Plant, Building

Founding fathers George Washington and Thomas Jefferson heavily influenced the architecture of American democracy when they chose the classical style for the new nation's capital and important structures. They knew their decision to infuse governmental architecture with a classical style would forever link the city stylistically and ideally to the principles of republican Rome and democratic Athens therefore imbuing it with a sense of power and prestige. Classicism has been the dominant style for federal and civic government architecture—from the White House to post offices to courthouses.

Although, the classical style dominated civic architecture for 150 years, various revival styles also remained in fashion until the birth of modernism in the 20th century. Wichita architect W.R. McPherson designed the six-story Old Sedgwick County Courthouse in the Victorian Renaissance style, an architectural revival style named after Queen Victoria. The courthouse was beautifully executed in native limestone with steeply pitched roofed towers and the large windows characteristic of the style. The courthouse was constructed in 1888 and completed in 1889 for $197,329. After seventy-one years of service as the county's seat of government, a new eleven-story courthouse was constructed in 1956 and is situated across the street from the Old Sedgwick County Courthouse.

Sedgwick County was established as a county on February 26, 1867, and sits on the traditional homelands of the Osage and Wichita and Affiliated Indian tribes (Wichita Proper, Waco, Taovaya, Tawakoni and Kichai). The county received its name in honor of John Sedgwick, a general of the Union Army who died during the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House in 1864.

Image Sources(Click to expand),_Kansas#/media/File:Sedgwick_county_kansas_courthouse_2009.jpg

Photo by Chris Murphy.