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Mercer County Courthouse

Courthouse Square, Princeton

Located on a prominence and ringed by a traffic circle, the Mercer County Courthouse is a highly visible monument to local government. Completed in 1931 and best described as Art Deco, the building is the work of the talented and well-regarded architect Alexander B. Mahood. The design he produced for Mercer County’s seat of government reveals the dynamic of his era, as many architects struggled to follow the professional call for modernity, while their clients often preferred eclectic mixes or revival styles that drew their inspiration from Classical sources. Mahood responded to this dichotomy by designing a rectilinear central mass, flanked by two lower dependencies creating an H-shaped plan. He then dressed the building in an Indiana limestone veneer embellished with Roman architectural motifs, including fasces, medallions, engaged pilasters, and fluting. An additional period detail is a running, bas-relief frieze present on the first floor level of the north and south elevations. The frieze depicts in heroic form the progress of the county from pioneer times and terminates in images of the machine age. -- ARR

Mercer County Courthouse
stair columns
frieze detail


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Mercer County Courthouse

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A History of West Virginia Courthouses

Architectural Styles