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Opposite Page: The White County Courthouse in Searcy is one of the finest examples of a Classical Revival-style public building in Arkansas. The two-story mansion, designed by H.L. Baldwin of Memphis, is faced with cut stone on the first floor and brick on the second floor.

Top Left: The original building was constructed in 1871, then expanded in 1912. The exterior, which was repainted in 2009 with money from the Arkansas Historic Preservation’s County Courthouse Restoration Grant Program, features include soaring columns.

Top Right: Each of the building’s columns is topped with a Corinthian capital.

Bottom Right: The courthouse’s interior is equally as handsome, with marble wainscoting and ornate hexagonal-tile floors.

1869 that new construction was to commence. In the interven- ing years, unfortunately, the 1850 building had been sold, moved and reopened as the Burrow Hotel. White County’s leaders would have to lease space from the local Masonic Lodge at $450 per year until a new building could be erected. H.L. Baldwin of Memphis was retained as architect to design what became a two-story masonry building faced with cut stone on the first floor and brick on the second, topped by a clock tower with a bell dated 1855. While the county accepted a low bid of $25,000 from Searcy builder Wyatt Sanford to construct the building, it proved far more expensive by the time it opened in 1871. Still, the building sufficed for 40 years, with county offices on the first floor and courtrooms on the second. By 1912, White County had again outgrown its courthouse and employed architect Frank W. Gibb – whose designs are reflected in a number of historic Arkansas courthouses – to remodel the building and add space. Gibb stayed true to the design of the 1871 building, continuing the motif of cut stone on the first floor and brick on the second story. He added wings to the north and south elevations of the building, flattened the original’s hipped roof, and removed gables from the building. Te White County Courthouse was listed on the National Reg- ister of Historic Places on August 3, 1977. Today, the White County Courthouse remains a handsome building, with its soaring columns and Corinthian capitals,


marble wainscoting and ornate hexagonal-tile floors. Its grounds are enhanced by memorials to White County soldiers who have served from the Civil War to present day and an Arkansas Champion deodar cedar tree planted by County Judge Herbert Moody in 1939. In addition to county business, the courthouse grounds are home to a farmer’s market during the growing season. Te White County Courthouse remains an integral part of its community, and the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program will continue to work with county officials to see that it stays that way.

Applications are now being accepted for the Arkansas Historic

Preservation Program’s County Courthouse Restoration Grant pro- gram. Te grants are financed through Real Estate Transfer Tax funds distributed by the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council for rehabilitation of historic county courthouses across Ar- kansas. Applications for County Courthouse Restoration Grants will be due in the AHPP office at 323 Center Street, Suite 1500, in Little Rock no later than 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 6. Applica- tions can be found at vation-services/grant-programs/. For more information, call AHPP Grants Coordinator Joia Burton at (501) 324-9883 [TDD 501- 324-9811] or send her an e-mail at

See “COURTHOUSE” on Page 30 >>> 29

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