12 January 2011

Clinton & Tipton Counties

Indiana boasts some pretty fabulous courthouses. This past fall found me wandering through both Frankfort in Clinton County and Tipton in Tipton County for separate meetings, and the opportunity presented itself to take a spin around the courthouse squares in these side by side counties.


I met with an individual regarding the Michigan Road in his office in the Clinton County Courthouse. This allowed me the opportunity to climb the great winding staircases of this building. When climbing to the main level and staring up into the rotunda a few employees gave me strange looks to which I said...."I'm just admiring the architecture". They smiled and we both went about our business. I met an old friend for coffee at a coffee shop on the square and we sat outside in view of the building while we caught up on old times. The Clinton County Courthouse was built from Indiana limestone between 1882-84 and was designed by noted Indiana architect George Bunting. Bunting also designed courthouses in Johnson and Madison Counties. For its time the Clinton County Courthouse was an expensive undertaking, nearly three and four times the cost of other courthouses being built in similar sized counties!


The Tipton Courthouse and I go back to 1998 when I spent time in the community on another project. We learned quickly in architecture school that if you really wanted to get into the guts of a building for a tour, tell them you're an architect, or architecture student, and it provides all kinds of backstage passes. So I managed to tour the Tipton County Courthouse and climbed all the way to the top of its clock tower to view the surrounding, very flat, farmland from little windows near the top of the tower that terminates almost 200' above the ground below. The Tipton County Courthouse was constructed between 1893-94 of sandstone and designed by architect Adolf Scherrer. Scherrer took over for Edwin May in overseeing the construction of the new state capitol building in 1880; a project that lasted until 1888.

The 92 Magnificent Indiana Courthouses by Jon Dilts is a great book for anyone interested in our state's courthouses.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tipton County, the sight of Indiana's last documented lynching. The place gives me an unsettled feeling even today.

vanilla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hoosier reborn said...

Vanilla-
That's right-I think I recall now that you are in Tipton. I was there in October for a MR meeting. I was the project architect on the CW Mount Community Center...a long time ago. BTW-most people here in "River City" have figured out who Hoosier Reborn is, but I'd like to keep my identity anonymous in the general cyberworld, if you don't mind.

Thanks,
"HR"

vanilla said...

Anon, the last documented lynching in Indiana was in 1930 in Grant County. Check the facts. Our county is not without its dark moments in its past,though, which I am sure is true in your county, wherever it may be. --A proud Tiptonian.

HR, I keep telling you, coffee's on whenever you're in Tipton.

Troy Sherk said...

Do they allow photographers in those places? What about photographers accompanying architects? :)

hoosier reborn said...

Troy,

You know-I've only ever been stopped once with a camera in my hand...and they just asked me to sign something (Lincoln Tower, Ft. Wayne). I usually operate under "better to ask for forgiveness than permission"...but I'd be happy to accompany a photographer and see what kind of trouble we could get into.