Court Square

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Court Square is the area in downtown Charlottesville surrounding the Albemarle County Courthouse, including Jackson Park.


Court Square's history dates back to 1761, when Dr. Thomas Walker offered a 50-acre parcel to build a courthouse for Albemarle County. The first courthouse was completed in 1763 on the location where the Confederate monument now stands. This prompted economic development in the area, such as the opening of the Eagle Tavern and the Swan Tavern. The square was bounded in 1792. [1]


2004-2006 renovation

Court Square was renovated in the mid 2000's by adding bricks to the streets and sidewalks, improving lighting, and undergrounding some utility wires.

The Charlottesville City Council allocated $1,520,000 to the project at its meeting on May 5, 2003. Funding from the federal government in the form of a Transportation Enhancement Fund (TEA) grant of $1,270,000 as well as a contribution of $250,000 from Albemarle County[2]


VIDEO CREDITS: Narrated by Dave Norris;
Graphic design: Jen Fleischer; Project Manager: Kristin Rourke.

The original frame of the court building was erected in 1762, and has been continually used as a courthouse for 200 years. When the British attacked Richmond in the summer of 1781, the Virginia General Assembly made Charlottesville its emergency capital and met in the courthouse for deliberations. The second brick building was built in 1803 in place of the original wooden structure.[3]

On New Years Eve in 1909 at about 7PM, J.S. Goodwin, a veteran Civil War artilleryman who had a store on Court Square, fired one of the cannons in front of the Albemarle County Courthouse. While there was no cannon ball, the amount of gunpowder used was sufficient to cause significant damage and alarm in the area.[4]

David Maurer quotes the following from the January 1, 1910 Daily Progress:

"[I]t only knocked out half the windows out of Mr. Flannagan's residence and the front of Cloud & Andwreson's looked like it had been shelled with shrapnel."


Businesses and Attractions

Surrounding area


  1. 1.0 1.1 Web. Courts Master Plan Study, Dewberry, FPW Architects, NCSC, Courts Master Plan Study, Albemarle County, September 2012, retrieved August 4, 2014. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "study" defined multiple times with different content
  2. Web. Charlottesville City Council meeting minutes, .pdf, Council Chambers, City of Charlottesville, 5 May 2003.
  3. Web. Historic Court Square, City of Charlottesville, retrieved 29 Dec. 2010.
  4. Maurer, David A. "New Year 2010 rang in with a mighty bang in Charlottesville." Daily Progress [Charlottesville] 3 Jan. 2010: C1-C2. Charlottesville Daily Progress. 3 Jan. 2010. Web. 3 Jan. 2010. <>.

External Links

Audiotour website: Source of video