Fourth District Court of Bristol County

88 North Main Street
Attleboro, Mass.

Year Built: 1914

Built in 1914.

Beaux Arts Classicism and Neoclassical architecture dominated the first two decades of the 20th century, particularly for public buildings. This 20th century classical revival was codified and universally accepted after the 1893 Columbian Exposition which extolled all that was grand in scale, symmetrical and ornamented with a rich vocabulary of classical ornament. This classical impulse was most closely associated with the development of city centers, and generated a movement known as the "City Beautiful," whose purpose was to order and classicize urban America.

Courthouses all became upscale monuments, usually Roman by virtue of their association with Roman Law, but frequently grandiose Greek as well.

The Bristol County Courthouse followed these tenets. it is a grand Neoclassical structure, characterized by its wide, plain dentilled cornice under the low pitch hipped roof. The symmetry of the Mechanic Street side shows a magnificently ornamented baroque pediment supported by pilasters, two shallow projecting pavilions at the ends and transomed windows with plain stone lintels. The classicism of the building looks somewhat Georgian due to the use of brick enlivened with stone trim.

In 1969 a one-story addition was added along No. Main Street.


References

• Treasurer's Report of the Receipts and Expenditures of the County of Bristol, 1912, p.70., Brigham, Coveney & Bisbee, architects, noted.

• Mass. Historical Commission, Form B, ATT.17

• Massachusetts Cultural Resources Information System, Massachusetts Historical Commission, Inventory No. ATT.17 (Fourth District Court of Bristol County, 88 North Main Street, 1914, Brigham, Coveney & Bisbee, architects).


Images






1985, Courtesy of the Mass. Historical Commission






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