Clark County Courthouse placed on heritage register

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The state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation has added the Clark County Courthouse to the Washington Heritage Register.

In a letter to the county’s historic preservation officer last week, the state historic preservation department also said it has nominated the courthouse for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

“Having a property listed in one or both of these registers is an honor,” wrote Allyson Brooks, state historic preservation officer.

Local architect Day Walter Hilborn designed the five-story courthouse in the Art Deco/Art Moderne style popular for public construction projects in the New Deal era of the 1930s and 1940s. General contractor for the project was the Portland business Ross B. Hammond Co., which specialized in reinforced concrete construction. The 78,000-square-foot courthouse was dedicated Nov. 29, 1941.

The courthouse was built using more than 10,000 tons of concrete, 270 tons of heavy reinforcing steel, 92,500 pounds of steel mesh in the floors and nearly 13 miles of wire for the lighting system, according to a brochure circulated at the dedication.

Not only is the building architecturally important, but it is historically significant as the seat of county government in Clark County, which is the state’s oldest county.