a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bird does no justice at courthouse

It’s time for a little makeover under in the rotunda of the courthouse in Washington County, Pa. For starters, the place would be less scary without the big dead black bird that is preserved under glass at the base of the grand marble staircase leading to the main courtrooms.

No one knows how the ugly bird got there in the first place, let alone its significance to jurisprudence. The thing sort of looks like a prop from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 thriller, “The Birds.” The county bosses should instruct the custodians of history to move it to the attic of the local historical society to make the historic courthouse a friendlier place for prosecutors and criminals before they get to a judge.

The 107-year-old courthouse is a fine example of Beaux Arts construction, so much so that it has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building and its ornate stained glass dome should also be on the list of places to stop for any tourist who is taking in the sites along the National Road through Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Isn’t their something better to greet these guests than a freaky so-called eagle after the visitors empty their pockets of metal at the security gate?

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