Courthouse History

The Lancaster County Courthouse was designed by Robert Mills, recognized as America's first architect and designer of the Washington Monument. It was built in 1828 and had been used as a hall of justice for nearly two centuries. That came to an abrupt end in the early morning hours of August 4, 2008, when an arsonist attempted to demolish the building. Its roof and main floor were completely destroyed. Fortunately, the outer walls were up to 24 inches thick and remained intact following the fire. Likewise, its rear Palladian window, considered one of the finest in America, was spared.

Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1973 by the U.S. Department of Interior, it was fully restored following the fire in 2011 along with landscaping and sidewalk improvements. It currently serves as the Historic Museum of Lancaster County. The top floor can now be rented for corporate events, conferences, meetings and special occasions such as showers, birthday parties and weddings.  Contact: Chelsea Gardner at 803-416-9508 or e-mail for assistance with reservations.

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