Article published June 29, 1958
Thousands Visit Courthouse For Open-House Celebration
County Board Members Get High Praise At DedicationBy GLEN W. NAVES, STAFF WRITER
Thousands thronged Spartanburg County's new $2,300,000 courthouse and jail during a day-long open house celebration Saturday.
A dedicatory program held at 11 in the ensuite East and West courtrooms attracted hundreds of them, along with many dignitaries from various sections of the state.
They heard members of the judiciary pay high tribute to county Board Members Ben E. Gramling, J.E. Crosland and R.B. Lentz, Architects Harold Woodward and Richard Robert, legislators of present and former delegations and others who helped make the giant modern structures possible.
Joining in these tributes were Claude A. Taylor, State Supreme Court associate justice; Federal Judge C.C. Wyche of Western South Carolina District; Resident Circuit Judge Bruce Littlejohn, County Court Judge Charles M. Pace, Sen. Charles C. Moore and Spartanburg Bar President Rufus W. Ward.
Hailed By SpeakerThe 115,000 square feet and 259 rooms of marble, steel, tile, aluminum and glass courthouse was hailed by speakers as a "temple of justice" and one of the Carolinas's "most modern and majestic" centers of government.
Already occupied and "going concerns," the courthouse and jail were beehives of activity as people from all walks of life viewed their facilities in steady streams from 9 a.m. until late afternoon.
"We are assembled today for the purpose of dedicating this building to the administration of justice and the people who brought it into being," Judge Littlejohn, presiding, said in opening the dedicatory proceedings. He pointed to "the great pride we have in our elected officials" and to volunteer workers of County boards, the bar and others who helped to make the structures possible - "most of all, the taxpayers of our county."
Judge Littlejohn called the new courthouse "a challenge to all of us" for the best possible performances of justice, administrative good stewardship and citizenship."
"Fine Building""A fine building cannot administer justice," he pointed out. "The true administration of justice must come not from the building but from the hearts and minds of all" who serve there as judges, jurors, attaches, attorneys and department heads and employees, he added.
Judge Littlejohn lauded Board Chairman Gramling as "a man who, with his fellow board members, has given freely of his time and effort to the people of the county, and as a true example of the old saying that those who are the busiest do their best in behalf of their fellowman when called upon.
Chairman Gramling introduced other board members who, he said "are certainly due" the greater credit, and on behalf of the board, County Delegation and all officials of the county, formally welcomed citizens to the open house and dedication. He expressed appreciation to architects, judges, bar committeemen, legislators, the contractor and subcontractors for their many services during the planning and some two-year construction program.
Several HonoredHerbert West, president, and Lewis Chamblee, superintendent of West Building Co., Winston-Salem, N.C., and Architects Woodward and Robert were among those recognized by Mr. Gramling as being "among the many to whom we owe so much."
From the outset in 1916, when citizens of the county voted overwhelmingly for a new courthouse during a Delegation-authorized referendum, "we of the delegations had as our chief aim to give the best people in the country the best courthouse," Sen. Charles C. Moore said. "It has taken a long time for us to bring this to pass," he stated in joining in tributes to the planners and builders.
"I hope that the thoughts and the prayers that have been expressed here today will long be remembered in the hearts of the people of Spartanburg," Judge Pace said. He praised "the architecture and the composition" of the courthouse which he noted provide "flexibility for future expansion."