|South Carolina Department of Archives and History|
|National Register Properties in South Carolina
United States Court House, Aiken County (223 Park Ave., S.W., Aiken)
|Facade||Left Oblique||Left Elevation||Rear Elevation||Right Elevation|
The Charles E. Simons, Jr. Federal Court House in Aiken is significant for its association with the federal construction programs created to relieve the economic crisis of the Depression Era. The building is an excellent example of a Georgian Revival building, which was not only a popular style for government buildings in smaller towns in the 1920s and 1930s, but also reflected a resurgent national interest in using elements from the Colonial Period as an inspiration for current designs in architecture. The Court House is a two-story brick building with a half basement designed by Columbia architects Lafaye and Lafaye. Constructed in 1935, the steel-framed building has housed the federal courts and federal agencies since its completion. It is among the most notable buildings constructed in Aiken in the 1930s, and retains much of its historic integrity and design character. The building also contains a ca. 1938 mural titled “Justice as Protector and Avenger” commissioned under the Section of Painting and Sculpture of the U.S. Treasury Department that reflects a growing movement of Social Realism found in American art during the Depression Era. The mural, by Stefan Hirsch, is located behind the judge’s bench and depicts a lady justice as a simply clothed figure in red, white, and blue, alternately protecting the oppressed while prosecuting the evil elements in society. Listed in the National Register December 10, 2003.
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