11 March 2015

Whitley County Courthouse: walking on glass


The Whitley County Courthouse in the center of downtown Columbia City has one of the most unusual features found in a Hoosier county courthouse.  Long before the "sky deck" on the Willis Tower (Sears Tower) in Chicago was conceived, the brilliant architect, Brent S. Tolan of Ft. Wayne had an innovative idea for how natural lighting could fill the center of the limestone fortress.  Glass floors.  Two levels of glass floors, beneath a sky-lit dome, allowed natural light to fill the rotunda space of the Whitley County Courthouse, dedicated on June 14, 1890.  The floors are composed of glass blocks held in a framework of steel.  And I couldn't help but notice that one could look up and see the footprints from a visitor to this seat of justice.  Unfortunately a renovation in 1979, while saving the building, closed off the natural light in the dome-so the effect is restricted to the historic light fixtures, but still-what a great look.






1 comment:

Kestrel said...

"walkin' on sunshine!"