[Link] - Click here to go to the navigation for this page
[graphic] Three Historic Nevada Cities Carson City, Reno, Virginia City A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary
 [graphic] Nevada Home  [graphic] Introduction  [graphic] List of Sites  [graphic] Maps  [graphic] Essays  [graphic] Learn More  [graphic] Itineraries  [graphic] NR Home
[graphic] Previous Site
[graphic] Property Title
[graphic] Next Site

[photo] Two views of the Storey County Courthouse
Photos by Rebecca Ossa, Courtesy of Nevada State Historic Preservation Office
The Storey County Courthouse was built in the high Italianate style that embodies 19th-century ideals of decorative opulence as well as law and order. The first county courthouse was destroyed in the Great Fire of October 1875. Reconstruction began in 1876 and the present building, designed by the San Francisco architectural firm of Kenitzer and Raun and built by contractor Peter Burke, was completed in February 1877. The total cost of construction, including fixtures and the jail, was $117,000, a remarkable sum even for the Comstock boom years. A life-sized figure of Justice stands as sentry at the entrance, but she is not blindfolded, a rare occurrence in our national symbology. The fašade of the building was decorated with elaborate ironwork, painted contrasting colors, and a pediment that included the date of construction, 1876, also the national centennial.


[photo] The Storey County Courthouse in 1937
Photo by Robert W. Kerrigan, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey, Reproduction Number HABS, NEV,15-VIRG,24-1

This courthouse is the most opulent of those built in Nevada in the late 19th century. Far exceeding the cost of its counterparts, the building served the state's richest community. Ironically, the county built the courthouse at a time when the boom economy of Virginia City was on the verge of collapse. Perhaps due to the inevitability of a downturn, local leaders rebuilt their town following the devastating 1875 fire in grand style. The Storey County Courthouse remains a vivid example of this community's rebirth in the face of economic decline. A portion of its restoration was funded through a grant from the National Park Service's Historic Preservation Fund.

The Storey County Courthouse is located 12 South B St., two doors south of Piper's Opera House. Today the courthouse still serves in its official capacity and is open to the public 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday-Friday.

 

 
[graphic] Footer with three essays
 [graphic] link to Carson City Essay
[graphic] link to Reno Essay [graphic] link to Virginia City Essay

Nevada Home | Introduction | List of Sites | Maps | Learn More | Itineraries | NR HomeNext Site
Essays: Carson City Essay | Reno Essay | Viriginia City Essay

Comments or Questions

JPJ/RQ/SB
[graphic] National Park Service arrowhead and link to nps.gov