Wilkinson Scrapbook Article #36

In this article from William Wilkinson’s scrapbook “One Hundred Great and Near-Great Events, Person and Places in Rochester History” (1947) he does a nice drawing of the second Monroe County Courthouse. That one was replaced by the current one but they kept the sculpture from atop the second Courthouse.


A wooden figure of “Justice” was placed on top the upper dome. It held her lofty position for more than forty years. Her position so high against the skyline made her an irresistible target for the firemen who tried out new apparatus. In the 1890’s when the new Courthouse was completed, the figure was placed in the niche in front of the building where you can see it today. While the Goddess of Justice is traditionally with a bandage across her eyes, the Rochester figure is not so represented. She seems to stand gazing down at the throng with a musing memories of her 96 years of guardianship over Rochester’s Hall of Justice. It is said her sculptor was so pleased with her features he had carved that he refused to cover them with the traditionally bandage and so obscure their beauty. The same itinerant sculptor designed a similar figure which still surmounts the dome of the Ontario County Courthouse in Canandaigua. The second Courthouse was erected in 1859. The present building is the third.

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