In a sea of beautiful Victorian buildings on Centre Street in Fernandina Beach, our beautiful red brick courthouse is a standout. It’s one of the finest surviving Victorian courthouses in Florida and is the oldest county courthouse in Florida and stands as a great symbol of Fernandina’s Golden Era when many of the town’s most beautiful and architecturally intricate structures were built.
Built in 1891 – Renovated in 2002
This beautiful red brick building was built in 1891 in the Classic Revival style and features cast iron Corinthian columns and a tall bell and clock tower. The bell – used as a fire alarm until the 1930’s – was cast by Meneely and Company in West Troy, New York. The cost of construction for the entire courthouse was $20, 614.
In 2002, at a cost considerably higher than the original construction, the building was completely restored and reopened in grand style. Paint samples were sent off for testing so that original colors could be used, and the ornate front doors were restored, rather than replaced. Since so much of the interior was constructed with heart pine, workers complained of constantly breaking bits as they were trying to drill into the beams. As they say, they just don’t build them like they used to.
You should put this on your “must see” list when visiting Amelia Island. And be sure to go inside to see the beautiful courtroom when many famous members of the court have practiced their craft.