Architecture

Miami County Courthouse

Miami County Courthouse – 127 S. Pearl The cornerstone of the Miami County Courthouse was laid in 1898. The foundation is of rough-hewn Carthage limestone from Carthage, Missouri. The red bricks complete this structure. The floor plan is a basic square, with towers on each corner. The major entries are defined by porches on the east and west facades. The woodwork throughout the Courthouse is oak and of the Victorian time period in design. Please note the sunflowers on the staircase, designed by George Washburn. The clock was replaced in 1980 by the class of 1985. This structure, Victorian in concept but with extensive Romanesque detailing, is regarded as one of Washburn’s most outstanding works. The building was placed on the National Historical Register in 1973. (1898)

George P. Washburn (1846-1922) was a prominent architect practicing in Kansas and designed several homes in Paola as well as many of its iconic buildings including the Miami County Courthouse, Park Square Gazebo, Paola Free Library, The Jackson Hotel, Schuman Building, Paola City Hall and the Patterson Circus House.

For a listing of his work, or if you are interested in a driving/walking tour, click here.

George P. Washburn
Architect (1846-1922)

George P. Washburn of Ottawa, Kansas was one of the leading architects in the state at the turn of the 20th century. He studied architecture in Quincy, Illinois at Bryant & Stratton’s Commercial College and came to Kansas in 1870. He worked in Kansas City, Missouri as a carpenter and an architect for a time before setting up his own architecture practice in Ottawa in 1882. In 1885 he became the architect for the Kansas State Board of Charities. Washburn was also one of several architects that designed Kansas' Carnegie Libraries. Although Washburn designed all types of buildings, including residential, he is best known for his courthouses having designed a total of 13. During the 1890s he designed the Johnson, Franklin, Miami, Atchison, and Woodson County courthouses. In 1901 his son joined the firm and it became George P. Washburn & Son. Together, father and son designed the Anderson, Neosho, Doniphan, Kingman, Harper, and Butler County courthouses.

The Miami County Courthouse , located at 127 S. Pearl , is considered one of his finest works. The cornerstone of the Miami County Courthouse was laid in 1898. The foundation is of rough-hewn Carthage limestone from Carthage, Missouri. The red bricks complete this structure. The floor plan is a basic square, with towers on each corner. The major entries are defined by porches on the east and west facades. The woodwork throughout the Courthouse is oak and of the Victorian time period in design. Please note the sunflowers on the staircase, designed by George Washburn. The clock was replaced in 1980 by the class of 1985. This structure, Victorian in concept but with extensive Romanesque detailing, is regarded as one of Washburn’s most outstanding works. The building was placed on the National Historical Register in 1973. (1898)

Washburn’s buildings were not often representative of one architectural style, but rather a combination of the prevailing aesthetics of the time. He developed different combinations of Richarsonian Romanesque. Queen Anne, Classical Revival and Beaux Arts and the result was eclectic.

In 1910 George Washburn went into semi-retirement and his son-in-law, Roy Stookey,  joined the firm with his son. Washburn died in 1922 and the firm became Washburn & Stookey.

North Side of Paola Square pre 1900

North Side of Paola Square pre 1900

North Side of Paola Square pre 1900

North Side of Paola Square pre 1900

Pearl Street looking North pre 1900

Pearl Street looking North pre 1900

Peoria Street looking East pre 1900

Peoria Street looking East pre 1900