Preservation Utah has listed two sites in Washington County as a part of their “most endangered places” in the beehive state for 2024. 

These structures are listed as endangered due to neglect, development, natural disaster, or any combination of the three. 

In Washington County, only two sites are listed as endangered. The first is the Administration Building on 197 East Tabernacle.  

Administration Building 

The article from Preservation Utah said, “The county’s second courthouse, the erstwhile administration building, is located at 197 E. Tabernacle in St. George. An example of modern style architecture is the structure, which was designed by John S. Rowley in 1966 and is made of two stories of fieldstone, concrete, and glass. It replaced the Pioneer Courthouse, which still stands on St. George Boulevard.” 

The article goes on to explain how this building was constructed in the 1960s when St. George was finally moving out of the pioneer era and into the modern day. 

The article from Preservation Utah said, “A pillar of downtown’s government presence, the 28,000-square-foot building stands as one of Utah’s best examples of modern architecture with its clean lines and geometric shapes. Mid-century modern design is now more rare in Washington County, yet it has become more revered as time has passed. At various points, it housed the District Judge, County Clerk, Sheriff’s office, and the Justice of the Peace, the site of pivotal historic decisions in county chronology.” 

A new administration building has now opened just to the west of the old structure, and Washington County officials are planning to demolish the building in the next five years. 

Pioneer Courthouse 

Before the Administration Building, there was the Pioneer Courthouse on St. George Boulevard. The pioneer-era structure is also listed on the list from Preservation Utah. 

The article from Preservation Utah said, “The Old Washington County Courthouse was the main courthouse for Washington County from its completion in 1876 until 1960. It is a two-story red brick structure with unusually thick walls (18 inches thick!). Situated prominently on St. George Boulevard, the structure rests on a basalt rock foundation that comprises the ground floor and is capped by a pyramidal-hipped roof with a prominent wood cupola. The cupola was designed for public hangings, but none were recorded as having occurred there.” 

The City of St. George purchased the building from Washington County in 1970 when a demolition was planned for the historic structure. The purchase ended up saving the building, but wear and tear have made their mark on the nearly 150-year-old building. 

The article from Preservation Utah said, “The building has been unoccupied in recent years, although tours were given until very recently by the Washington County Historical Society, the current manager of the building.  The sandstone used for the foundation of the building has slowly been eroding over the decades, and more extensive preservation efforts are needed to preserve the building for future generations.” 

If you’d like to see the full list of endangered places from Preservation Utah, then click here. 


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