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Scotts Bluff, Nebraska

Scotts Bluff County Courthouse

Scotts Bluff County Courthouse
Scotts Bluff County Courthouse
Rick Myers,
Scottsbluff Star-Herald

Historic Image of Scotts Bluff County Courthouse
Historic Image of Scotts Bluff County Courthouse
Platte River Valley Museum

Completed in 1921, the Scotts Bluff County Courthouse in Gering, Nebraska is an excellent, largely unaltered example of County Citadel architecture. Besides being architecturally significant, the courthouse is also important for its historic associations with politics and local government.

The courthouse exhibits features of the Classical Revival style, such as symmetric arrangement, monumental shapes, smooth surface finish, a relatively simple entablature, and colossal columns. The rectangular building is three stories set upon a raised basement. Unlike the typical courthouse, however, the raised basement is not differentiated by different materials or wall surface patterns; the entire wall surface is faced with tan brick.

On the main entrance, which is the east portico, six colossal Tuscan limestone columns support a shallow limestone entablature. The parapet has an openwork grill with a starburst pattern and a round clock centered above the round-arched entrance. The windows above are in three-parts, and the second story window has a wrought iron balcony with simple stone consoles.  The courthouse building is an excellent example of public architecture in the community and contains good examples of design features and facilities distinctive to its use as a courthouse. The design conveys the impression of a government building representing modernity, simplicity, strength, and prosperity.

Scotts Bluff County split out from Cheyenne County after the issue was put to a vote in 1888. After another election the following year, Gering became the county seat and the first courthouse was built in 1891. The courthouse served adequately, but discussion of a replacement building took place at the turn of the century. Despite this talk, there was no immediate action. Voters finally approved a bond issue for a new building in 1919, and the county finished its new courthouse in 1921. The courthouse is historically significant as the focal point for the administration of local government and institutions in Scotts Bluff County.

Plan your visit
The Scotts Bluff County Courthouse is located at 1725 10th St, at the corner of 10th and Q Sts., in Gering, NE. The courthouse is open Monday-Friday, except holidays, from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
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