The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 114

then & now

JENNY KINCAID BOONE is a Roanoke-based freelance writer and former business
journalist. She is a Roanoke College and Northwestern University graduate who is
passionate about exercise and chai latte.

Botetourt County Courthouse
Modeled after Thomas Jefferson's designs, this historical structure is scheduled for more
modern renovations.

114

MARCH/APRIL 2020

a courthouse vault, survived the flames. In 1975, the
county built a new, fourth courthouse modeled after
Jefferson's designs. This is the one that stands today.
Now, changes are on the horizon. The building is
in need of repairs. Renovations that likely will begin
next year will include adding security features, making
the space handicapped accessible, mold remediation
and more, says Gary Larrowe, Botetourt County
administrator.
"It has outlived its usefulness," he says.
Also, the county is moving most of its administrative
offices out of the courthouse and other Fincastle
buildings and into the Greenfield Education and
Training Center in Daleville, a permanent relocation.
Offices f or the judge, c lerk of cour t and
commonwealth attorney will relocate temporarily from
the courthouse to the county's former district court
building in Fincastle during renovations, Larrowe says.
The refurbished county landmark likely will re-open by
mid-2022, he says. -JENNY KINCAID BOONE

JULIANNE RAINONE JACOB / ARCHIVAL IMAGE COURTESY OF THE VIRGINIA ROOM, ROANOKE PUBLIC LIBRARIES

A COURTHOUSE often is the center of a community,
a place where the public and the law meet.
The Botetourt County Courthouse has been a
Fincastle fixture for about 250 years.
But there have been four different versions of the
courthouse at the corner of Main and Roanoke streets.
It opened in the late 1700s as a log structure.
A second courthouse was built about 1820 using
architectural designs by Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson
mailed the designs from Monticello to Gen. James
Breckinridge, according to a historical account by
author Robert Douthat Stoner.
The building had a domed top, columns made of
walnut logs, stone floors and copper and tin pipes and
gutters.
About 27 years later, a third version of the courthouse
went up, with a courtroom that extended into the roof
and was heated by a fireplace.
But on December 15, 1970, a fire gutted the structure.
Surprisingly, the county's historical records, locked in

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The Roanoker - March/April 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - March/April 2020

The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - Intro
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - Cover1
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - Cover2
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - 3
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The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - Cover3
The Roanoker - March/April 2020 - Cover4
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