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By Benjamin A. Roberts

2010 Masters Thesis, University of Georgia

This thesis explores the reasons that some counties in Georgia choose to preserve their courthouses and some do not. Of the 159 counties in Georgia, 102 counties still have their historic courthouses in use as a courthouse, 37 counties have built a new courthouse/government center, but retain their courthouse for non-judicial activities, and 20 counties lost their courthouses to fire or demolished them. The status of all 159 courthouses is reviewed, and an overview of their current state is provided. Review of preservation efforts provides an understanding of the challenges facing these buildings. Lessons learned from both Georgia and the national experience regarding preservation efforts and historic county courthouses are developed. The thesis provides a basis for current and future efforts for courthouse preservation in Georgia by summarizing the best practices learned from multiple examples of the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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