Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

August 11, 2010

What We Think: Goodbye, Courthouse

VALDOSTA — It’s a strange goodbye.  For the past few weeks, offices have been moving from the 105-year-old Lowndes County Courthouse to the new judicial complex a block up North Ashley Street.

A couple of weeks ago, the probate judge’s office moved. Last week, the superior court judges moved their offices and staff. This week, the clerk of court is moving.

While all of these officials have left and are leaving, the old courthouse isn’t going anywhere. While trials and county business will take place in the new complex, the old courthouse will remain a landmark of Downtown Valdosta.

A lot of history resides in that building.

Valdosta was only 45 years old in 1905 when the Lowndes County Courthouse opened its doors. The new courthouse reflected the permanence which townspeople had come to regard Valdosta as the Lowndes County seat. Many of the buildings still in Downtown Valdosta were built during this era.

At the time, the courthouse not only heard the trials against the accused, it housed them behind bars and served as the site of execution for those condemned.

The courthouse has seen many changes through the years — both in its anatomy and in Downtown Valdosta.

The courthouse has undergone the facelifts of  annex buildings, central air & heating, office partitions and more, while Valdosta has become home to an Air Force base, a university, an interstate and more.

The Lowndes County Courthouse has remained a constant throughout all of Valdosta and Lowndes County’s many changes for the past century running.

That won’t change either. While it will no longer hosts court, the building remains. With its place in history secure, we look forward to the courthouse’s next chapter ... whatever its future may bring.

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