Created By: Preservation Greensboro
A series of earlier courthouses stood at Jefferson Square, the early name for the city’s central intersection at Elm and Market streets. By 1911, jurors were having a hard time hearing cases due to street noise on warm summer days when windows remained open, so efforts began on constructing a new courthouse. The old site was sold to make way for the Jefferson Standard Building, and this site was cleared for a $500,000 structure in 1917. The Guilford County Courthouse was designed by a committee of architects chaired by Harry Barton of Greensboro. Barton specialized in residential, educational and civic buildings in Beaux-Arts and Neoclassical styles, including buildings on the campus of the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. The basement and primary floors of the building are walled in Mount Airy Granite, but the upper floors including the cornice and balustrade are sheathed with terra cotta tiles textured to resemble granite. The courthouse stands five stories in height, but appears much smaller; reflective of the County Commissioner’s desire to not be viewed as wasting taxpayer’s money on a large structure. The Commissioners’ Meeting Room located on the second floor features Neoclassical detail articulated in hand-crafted quarter-sawn oak. Open to the public.
Style: Beaux-Arts/ Neoclassical Revival. Listed to the National Register of Historic Places in May 1979.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Center City Greensboro Historic Architecture