Henry Hobson Richardson and the Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail by William Garrett

April 8, 2008

Speaker: William Garrett

Bill Garrett has been leading tours of Pittsburgh for the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks for a decade.

From Pittsburgh History & Landmarks: In 1883, Boston architect henry Hobson Richardson won the competition to design the Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail. Construction began in 1884. The Jail was completed in 1886 (and was renovated in 1999 to house the Allegheny County Family Courts); the Courthouse was finished in 1888.

The architect told the County commissioners that he designed toe County Buildings: “to express in the exterior the character and purposed of the interior, and to rely for architectural effect upon the arraignment of the masses, and the dignity and solidarity of the construction.” On his deathbed, Richardson in reported to have said: “if they honor me for the pigmy things I have already done, what will they say when they see Pittsburgh finished.”

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