Winneshiek County Courthouse, Decorah, Iowa

One of the more spectacular courthouses I’ve seen lately is the Winneshiek County Courthouse in Decorah, Iowa, located in the northeastern reaches of the state.

Replacing the first permanent courthouse on the site, and costing $125,000 to build, it was designed by A.C. Kinney of Minneapolis and completed in 1904.

I suppose I would describe it as Beaux-Arts but it perhaps a little old fashioned in its expression of that style, perhaps a bit more Renaissance Revival than the full blown extravagance of the former style.

It wouldn’t be a county seat in Iowa without a Civil War memorial! This one is quite nice and probably predates the current courthouse. I think I read some where that Iowa provided the highest percentage of soldiers to the Union than any other state.

The courthouse sits on a high hill, and you can see how the streets around the hill have cut away the earth, leaving huge retaining walls.

The old jail, built in 1878 and used until 2000, is now the home of the Winneshiek County Historical Society.

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