National Register of Historic Places in Alpine County
Built entirely of native quarried stone, this building is still used as the county courthouse and remains one of the most significant architectural landmarks in Alpine County. The period of significance is 1928-1954 based on the fact that nothing of exceptional interest took place after 1954.
When the courthouse was built in 1928, Alpine County was still relatively young, having been established in 1864 as part of the famous Comstock Lode discovery in nearby Virginia City.
Being isolated from most of California by the Sierra Nevada, especially during the winter months, Alpine County residents were more familiar with Nevada than California. When it came time to replace their existing 1875 wood frame courthouse, they turned to Reno architect Frederick J. DeLongchamps, who had already designed courthouses for seven Nevada counties as well as Modoc County in California.
DeLongchamps favored the classical revival styles in his courthouse designs, and the Alpine County Courthouse design reflects his regionally adapted style. The original architectural plans called for a two-story courthouse, but financial considerations resulted in the revision of the plans to a one-story building.
Adapted from the NRHP nomination.