Federal Courthouse – Erie PA

City:
Erie, PA

Site Type:
Federal Courthouses, Federal Facilities

New Deal Agencies:
Treasury Department, Federal & Military Operations

Started:
1937

Completed:
1938

Designers:
Louis A. Simon, Rudolf Stanley-Brown

Quality of Information:
Very Good

Marked:
Unknown

Site Survival:
Extant

Description

The historic federal courthouse in Erie, Pennsylvania is part of a complex of buildings that serve as a courthouse of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, and other federal functions. According to the website of the General Services Administration, “A U.S. courthouse constructed at this location in 1888 was demolished to make way for the existing 1938 courthouse designed by Rudolph Stanley-Brown, a Cleveland architect who was the grandson of President James Garfield. Built during the Great Depression with funds from New Deal programs, its construction provided local jobs. The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.”

“The 1938 courthouse was designed in the Stripped Classical style, which was commonly used for Federal buildings constructed during the Depression era. The building has the monumental scale and form of earlier classically inspired Federal architecture, but lavish ornamentation commonly found on buildings from previous eras is stripped away. The building is clad in Indiana limestone with polished black granite accenting the building base and entrance area. Carved soapstone panels with a Greek key motif are on the second level. On the interior, the vestibules, lobbies, and corridors are clad with blue terra-cotta wainscot. Ceramic tile floors are bordered with another Greek key pattern. Two original courtrooms remain and are elaborately finished with paneled wood wainscot. Two related sculptures entitled “American Youth” flank the courtrooms. Completed by sculptor Henry Kreis shortly after the building was completed, the minimal forms are compatible with the architectural style of the courthouse.”

Source notes

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erie_Federal_Courthouse

National Register of Historic Places Registration Form https://s3.amazonaws.com/NARAprodstorage/lz/electronic-records/rg-079/NPS_PA/92000468.pdf

"Erie; a guide to the city and county, written and compiled by the Erie County unit of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania" (page 64) https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.$b726893&view=1up&seq=90

Site originally submitted by Andrew Gallentine on March 4, 2023.

Location Info


17 South Park Row
Erie, PA 16501

Coordinates: 42.12887, -80.08514

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