The 1909-1912 Bergen County Courthouse,
Hackensack, New Jersey.
Designed by Texas trained architect James Riely Gordon.
An exemplary sculpture program enhances this outstanding design. Most of this work is by Johannes Sophus Gelert (1852-1923), a German born, Danish-educated sculptor whose work also graces Cass Gilbert’s 1907 United States Custom House, New York. Gelert’s contribution in Hackensack includes ‘History’ and ‘Law’ flanking the main entrance. Directly above, his allegorical groupings of ‘Truth, Attended by Justice and Integrity’ and ‘Honor, with Law and Order’, bracket the top corners of the pavilion. These are all freestanding compositions carved from Italian Carrara marble. He also designed the figure ‘Enlightenment Giving Power’ that tops the dome. Metallic eagles mark the other corners of the structure. Beneath the dome, a bas-relief frieze encircles the drum with forty panels evoking, in Gordon’s words, “the march of progress that has been so wonderful in Bergen County.” #jamesrielygordon #newjersey #newjerseycourthouses #courthouses #architecture #architecturephotography #design #beauxarts #beauxartsarchitecture #sculpture #johannesgelert #johannessophusgelert #marble #marblesculpture