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The Bradley County Courthouse was designed by architect Frank W. Gibb and contracted by E. L. Koonce. Constructed in 1903, the two-story brick courthouse has an “unusual combination of classical characteristics,” according to the National Register nomination form.
The Bradley County Courthouse is located at 101 East Cedar in Warren (Bradley County). It is the third courthouse to occupy this location. The first courthouse was a temporary one built on the site in 1843, approximately two years after the creation of the county, and continued in use until 1862, when a brick courthouse, begun in 1858, replaced it. The second courthouse remained for forty-one years, when it was replaced in 1903 by the current Bradley County Courthouse.
The courthouse was built with two different colors of bricks, an unusual decision for the time period. The four corners of the building have brick quoins that look somewhat like brick pilasters, and a pavilion roof tops off the building.
In typical Frank W. Gibb style, the building consists of a central core flanked with wings and towers. The entry has a one-story, flat-roofed portico with Tuscan support columns, and the roof of the portico has wrought-iron railings with turned balusters. First-floor windows are double hung with awnings, and each of the windows on the second floor is paired and double-hung, topped by a round arched multi-light transom, painted white with a cut-stone keystone.
The east side of the building has a two-and-a-half-story tower, divided by a cut-stone water table and cut-stone belt courses into three sections. The top of the tower features arched openings supported by Corinthian columns, a denticulated cornice, and a pavilion roof. On the southwestern corner of the building is the clock tower. Rising three stories, the clock is flanked on all four sides by coupled Tuscan brick pilasters, and the roof above that is hexagonal with a finial. The interior has little alteration, with the original colored ceramic tile floors and decorative stairways. No additions have been made to the exterior of the building.
The County Clerk’s Office, which also sits in the courthouse square, was built in 1890. Located east of courthouse, the one-story building is small, pavilion roofed, and made of brick. The building is used as a library.
The Bradley County Courthouse square is home to many of the county’s events, most notably the Bradley County Pink Tomato Festival, started in the 1950s and named for the famed tomatoes, which are nationally recognized for their quality.
The Bradley County Courthouse and County Clerk’s Office were added to the National Register on December 12, 1976.
For additional information:“Bradley County Courthouse and County Clerk’s Office.” National Register of Historic Places nomination form. On file at Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Little Rock, Arkansas. Online at http://www.arkansaspreservation.com/National-Register-Listings/PDF/BR0001.nr.pdf (accessed May 18, 2015).
Gatewood, Robert Lynn. A Bicentennial History of Bradley County, Arkansas. N.p.: Warren and Bradley County Bicentennial Committee, 1976.
Danny GroshongLittle Rock, Arkansas
Last Updated 5/18/2015
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