This Greek Revival building was constructed between 1838 and 1840 and designed by New York architect Calvin Pollard as the city's Husting's Courthouse. The term "hustings" derives from a British form of court system loosely in place in Virginia today and refers to a public space where political campaign speeches are made.
Until the 20th Century, the building housed the city's administrative offices as well as a variety of courts. Many significant trials occurred here, including that of the Underground Railroad conductor Captain William Bayliss in 1858. During the Siege of Petersburg, Confederate soldiers in the trenches used the "Town Clock" as a timepiece. The sculpture of Lady Justice that surmounts the tour remained in place during the Siege and was constantly struck by Union shells. At 4:00 am on April 3, 1865, the First Michigan Sharpshooters lowered their flag from the clock tower, marking the end of the Siege of Petersburg, and effectively, the end of the Civil War. Today the building serves as Petersburg's Circuit Court.
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