Merced County Courthouse

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Merced County Courthouse
Merced CA Historic Courthouse1.jpg
Merced County Courthouse is located in California
Merced County Courthouse
Merced County Courthouse is located in the US
Merced County Courthouse
Location W. 21st and N Sts., Merced, California
Coordinates 37°18′22″N 120°29′00″W / 37.30611°N 120.48333°W / 37.30611; -120.48333Coordinates: 37°18′22″N 120°29′00″W / 37.30611°N 120.48333°W / 37.30611; -120.48333
Area 11 acres (4.5 ha)
Built 1875 (1875)
Built by Burrell,A.W.,& Co.
Architect Bennett, A. A.
Architectural style Renaissance, Italian Renaissance Revival
NRHP reference # 75000441[1]
Added to NRHP October 29, 1975

The Merced County Courthouse is the historic county courthouse in Merced County, California. Located at the intersection of W. 21st and N Streets in Merced, the building served as Merced County's courthouse from 1875 until 1975. A. A. Bennett, an architect who also worked on the California State Capitol, designed the building. The building's Italian Renaissance design was styled to resemble a palazzo; it features a white plaster exterior, a portico with a balcony on the south side, and a cupola atop the roof. A nearly identical courthouse was built in Fresno County at the same time; this building was modified extensively and later demolished, leaving the Merced County Courthouse as the only remaining example of its design. The building's architecture is unique within the southern Central Valley; in its National Register nomination, the courthouse was called "the best example of the Italian Renaissance revival remaining between Sacramento and Los Angeles".[2]

The building is now a museum of local history known as the Merced County Courthouse Museum that is operated by the Merced County Historical Society. Exhibits include the Superior Courtroom, a historic schoolroom and blacksmith shop.

The Merced County Courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places on October 29, 1975.[1]

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