Preserving History – Presenting Art
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Courthouse Eagle

1909 (corner of East Main and South Franklin)

This sculpted eagle marks the site of Montgomery County’s historic courthouses. The county court met in log buildings and churches until the first brick courthouse on the main square was built between 1834 and 1836. This Federal style building was remodeled extensively in 1909, when the courthouse took on a grand Edwardian appearance. During this renovation, a hollow metal eagle, sculpted in Lynchburg, Virginia, was placed on the courthouse cupola. It was lowered when the cupola was completely changed during renovations in 1953 after the sculpture was seen to be swaying in the wind, perhaps attempting to fly off its perch. By the late 1970s, the courthouse had fallen into disrepair. Despite local efforts to save the structure, the 1909 courthouse was demolished and gave way to a modern structure, which is currently under renovation to become a county public safety building. In 2012, the courthouse moved down East Main Street to its current location in a new building. The eagle from the 1909 courthouse cupola was saved and was placed in its current location in 1984. There is a similar eagle atop the old Roanoke County courthouse in Salem, Virginia, which was built by the same architect.

 

Eagle

 

The eagle flies

The Eagle atop the 1909 Courthouse and during removal c. 1980.
(photos courtesy of the D. D. Lester Collection)

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