June 2011
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Coweta County Courthouse

Coweta County Courthouse

Coweta County's earliest seat of government was Bullsboro, Ga., 2 1/2 miles east of Newnan, Ga., according to the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society. In 1828, the Inferior Court of Coweta County selected Newnan as the county seat.

A 202 1/2-acre tract of land that had been drawn by Charles Connally in the 1827 Land Lottery was bought from him for $100; a deed went to the county March 20, 1828, and a courthouse was planned for the site.

Captain W.H. Hitchcock built Coweta County's first courthouse in 1829. The brick building served as a hospital during the Civil War, and its walls were shot by the 18th Indiana Artillery July 30, 1864.

In 1903, James Golucke, an Atlanta architect, was retained to design a new courthouse. The old courthouse was demolished in 1904, and a new building was completed for $58,000 and formally opened Dec. 30, 1904.

The new building reflected the influence of Italian architect Andrea Palladro in its central crossing plan and English architect Christopher Wrenn in its symmetrical classicism.

The courthouse was refurbished in 1974 and 1990. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.

The original architect

Golucke was born June 19, 1857, the son of a German immigrant who settled in Wilkes County, Ga. He had no formal architectural training and learned through apprenticeship, starting as a carpenter.

After being employed as a machinist at the Woodward Lumber Co., he began his career as an architect in the mid-1890s. He rose to fame in his field, designing at least 27 courthouses in Georgia and four in Alabama. He also designed buildings such as The Fitzpatrick Hotel in Washington, Ga., and Terrell Hall at Georgia College in Milledgeville.

After being accused of having an alleged connection with the misappropriation of funds in Baker County, Ga., Golucke was sent to jail. He died in jail of natural causes Oct. 26, 1907, after an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Evidence has surfaced that suggests Golucke was falsely accused.


This Web exclusive information is a supplement to A piece of American history.

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