The Lady of Justice statue stands perched atop a pillar near the entrance of the $67 million Augusta-Richmond County Judicial Building and John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse in downtown Augusta. According to the plaque on the base of the statue, before being placed at the courthouse, the statue had stood in Augusta since 1892.
An earlier wooden version was installed on the top of the City Hall dome in 1820, and the current copper version replaced the original at the remodeled and enlarged Richmond County Courthouse in 1892.
“Surviving a cupola fire in 1920, “Lady Justice” continued her watch over Augusta until 1958 when the old courthouse was demolished and the new Municipal Building was completed. She was rescued from storage and placed on the grounds adjacent to the Municipal Building’s south entrance in April 1962” the inscription reads.
EverGreene Architectural Arts was enlisted to rehab the Lady Justice in 2010. “This copper repoussé figure was fabricated in a manner similar to that of the Statue of Liberty. The strength of the copper sheets had been severely compromised through later modifications to its internal armature.
Solder joints had opened, breaking off the left arm and a copper sheet from the shoulder. Some elements (such as the scale) had become displaced or been inexpertly repaired. Additionally, a dark surface coloration had developed that made the solder joints stand out as visually inharmonious.”
Her arm was removed, and the statue was fitted with a replacement support system specifically desiged for the statue. “The copper sheets were brought back to their original, intended appearance through soldering, as well as careful hammering and planishing” accoding to EverGreene’s website. “
Next time you find yourself at the Courthouse, take a moment to regard the Lady Justice. At 127, she at least deserves a nod.
In 2003, Augusta Tomorrow unveiled the statue of General James Edward Oglethorpe, which they commissioned and donated to the city. The statue depicts General Oglethorpe in his mid-30s, his age when he founded Augusta in 1736.