Historic Sites and Points of Interest in Nevada County
The Nevada County Court House contributes to the Nevada City Downtown Historic District which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. The following description of the building is excerpted from the NRHP nomination for the district:
The original courthouse on this site was burned in the 1856 fire. It was rebuilt as a two-story granite and brick building in Greek Revival style. The courthouse burned again in 1863, and some of the brick from the structure was used in the Masonic Hall. It was again rebuilt in 1864 as a two-story structure. In 1900 a third story was added.
In 1937 the present Art Moderne façade was added, emphasizing the tall center section with emphatic vertical lines and the sweeping curved first story wings on each side. Characteristically, ornamentation is sparse. The building, designed by George C. Sellon, is considered to be such an outstanding example of the Art Moderne style that graduate students in architecture have come from the Atlantic coast to photograph and study it.