Fremont County Courthouse, 1961-1999
Fremont County Administration Building, since 1999
615 Macon Avenue
Groundbreaking ceremonies occurred December 30, 1958 and the building was completed in August, 1961 with move-in on September 5, 1961. The property had been the site of the landmark 1880 Washington School until it was acquired by the County in January, 1952. The building was used as the Courthouse until 1999, when a new courts’ building was constructed on Justice Center Road by the Jail. The remodeled courtroom now serves as a meeting room.
Thomas Nixon and Lincoln Jones of the Nixon and Jones Architectural Firm of Denver were project architects. Ross E. Cox was General Contractor; McMartin and Belco, mechanical and electrical; Roy Sturbaum, excavation. Built at a cost of $800,000 for the Fremont County Building Authority, who leased the building to the County, it was paid off early on April 24, 1984. The building has a number of distinctive architectural features including: • Copper eave panels along the roof and eight massive copper panels on the south-facing building’s front • Ten foot high hand carved wooden doors • Quarried limestone conglomerate exterior panels and • Polished limestone conglomerate interior panels, both from the Cowan Quarry just west of town • Walnut and birch wood paneling and trim • Cantilevered stairs that seem to float above the terrazzo floors as they climb the three-story naturally lighted atrium, complimented by wooden handrails • A glass walled meeting room that floats above the atrium • Glass fronted offices that add to the openness of the atrium and use of interior copper panels • Design elements drawn from the surrounding mountains and enhanced by the openness and natural light of the interior.
The Nixon and Jones Architectural Firm was awarded the 1962 Chase Brass and Copper Architectural Achievement Award. The award cited their use of embossed copper panels bonded to precast concrete panels. The design and huge size of the panels was a first in the industry. Building caretakers, Nancy and Eddie Starika, occupied an apartment located in the lower level. They raised a family there and tended the needs of the building for 31 years until retiring in 1990.