Erie County is named for Lake Erie which was named after the Erie Native American tribe.
Surrounding County Courthouses:
N – Lake Erie and Ontario, Canada
E – Chautauqua County, New York and Warren County
S – Crawford County
W – Ashtabula County and Lake Erie
Created: March 12, 1800
Erie 1800 – present
County Courthouse – Erie
Location: 140 West 6th Street / Sassafras Street
Built: 1853 – 1855
Style: Greek Revival
Architect: Thomas Ustick Walter of Philadelphia
Contractor: John Hill ( carpentry ), William Hoskinson ( masonry ), Cadwell & Bennett ( roof )
Description: The building faces south and is a three story gray colored stone structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Erie. The south front has two sections with six columns rising to a pediment at the roof line. The entrances are recessed. Between the sections is a one story semi-circular section with glass panels. The historic courtroom is located on the second story of the west section. The west section was built in 1855, and the east section was built in 1927. In 2001, the center section connecting the two buildings was completed. The architect was Thomas U Walter of Philadelphia and the contractor was John Hill and William Hoskinson. In 1889 to 1890, the building was extended north 40 feet by 60 feet. The architect was Gray, Webber and Karnes. In 1927 to 1930, the east section was constructed. The architect was Walter L Monahan of Erie. In 1977, an addition was constructed on the north side. In 2001, the building was restored by Fiske & Sons. In 2005 to 2006, the center entrance section was constructed. The architect was Michael Grab, Architect and the contractor was Considine-Biebel & Company.
Note: Thomas Ustick Walter was paid $50 for use of his plans for the Chester County courthouse in Chester and the Commissioners also loaned the plans for the Cumberland County courthouse in Carlisle.
History: The county was created in 1800 and Erie was selected as the county seat. The first courts were held in Meadville in Crawford County. The first court met at Buehler’s Tavern at Third Street and French Street in 1803. The first courthouse was a plain two story brick structure built in 1808 at a cost of $2000. The courthouse was destroyed by fire on March 23, 1823. The court then met in the old Erie Academy at Ninth Street and Peach Street. The second courthouse was built by Thomas Mehaffey and Joseph Henderson in 1824 to 1825. William Benson and William Himrod of Waterford did the carpentry work. The third and present courthouse was constructed in 1852 to 1855 at a cost of $63,000. The 1889 addition cost $40,000 and the 1927 expansion cost $250,000.
County Courthouse – Erie
Photos taken 2010