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Lehigh County

Lehigh County is named for the Lehigh River which name is derived from the Delaware Native American term “Lechauweki” or “Lechauwekink” meaning “where there are forks”.

 

Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Schuylkill County and Carbon County

E – Northampton County and Bucks County

S – Montgomery County and Berks County

W – Berks County

 

Created:  March 6, 1812                         Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lehigh County

County Seat:

Allentown   1812 – present

 

Old County Courthouse – Allentown   

 

Location:  503 West Hamilton Street / 5th Street

Built:  1814 – 1819

Style:  Italianate

Architect:  Eber Culver and Gustav Aldoph Achbach  ( 1864 )

Contractor:  Henry Smith ( 1864 )

 

Description:  The building faces south and is a two story dark green colored brick, stone and wood structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Allentown on the west side of the courthouse. The building was remodeled in 1864 to the Italianate style and forms a cruciform plan. The south front has a projecting center section with arched entrance on the first story and three high windows on the second story with balcony. There is a gable at the roof line with large white colored cupola rising in tiers. The building has east and west wings. In the interior, the entrance hall has two curving staircases leading up to the second story at the foyer of the main courtroom which occupied the 1864 addition. There is a wooden balcony and sloping floor. Behind the judges bench are alcoves with Corinthian columns. The architect was Eber Culver and Gustav Aldoph Achbach and the contractor was Henry Smith. In 1880 to 1881, the west wing was constructed. In 1914 to 1918, the Beaux Arts north stone faced wing was constructed. The building has a lavishly ornamented two story courtroom on the second story. The rectangular room has the judge’s bench at the east end. There is a cork floor, plastered walls, ornate plaster ceiling and pink colored marble. The architect was Henry Anderson and the contractor was Butz & Clader. The engineer was Robert S Rathburn.

 

See:  National Register of Historic Places – Lehigh County Courthouse

 

County Courthouse – Allentown   

 

 

Location:  455 West Hamilton Street / 5th Street

Built:  1962 – 1965

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Wolfe & Hahn

Contractor:  Unknown

 

Description:  The building faces south and is an eight story glass, stone, steel and concrete structure. The building is located in the center of Allentown. The building has sunset red colored granite from Texas and charcoal gray colored granite from Minnesota. The north section rises nine story with a lower section on the south and a lower glassed section along the front. A long porch runs along the first story with the entrance towards the west side. The north side has a three story section. The building has horizontal windows. The roof line is flat.  In 2011, the building was renovated. The architect was Ricci Greene Associates.

 

History:  The county was created in 1812 and Allentown was selected as the county seat. The first court was held in the hotel of George Savitz on the main square in Allentown, which later became the Hotel Allen. In 1813, the court moved to the upper story of the prison building at 5th Street and Linden Street. John Yeakel obtained the plans for the 1800–1804 courthouse in Lycoming County which were followed in building the first courthouse in 1814 to 1817 at a cost of $24,937. The cost of the 1864 remodeling was $57,236 and the cost of construction of the 1914 addition was $330,000. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1962 to 1965.


 

Old County Courthouse – Allentown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courthouse Addition 1914

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County Courthouse – Allentown

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos taken 2015