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Situated prominently in the heart of Sebring is the Highlands County Courthouse, which has served as the seat of county government since its construction in 1927. It has and continues to play a significant role in the development of the city and county. Its architecture symbolizes its important status in the community. Designed by Virginia-based architect Fred Bishop in the Classical Revival style, its most prominent feature is the main entrance with a flight of steps leading up to a large portico with four Ionic columns.

Highlands County Courthouse was built in 1927 and has served as the county seat ever since.

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In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Florida had big counties. One of these was DeSoto County, which was around 3,700 square miles and was located in southwest Florida. Over time, DeSoto and other counties were eventually divided into smaller ones. This is how Highlands County was established in 1921 when DeSoto County was divided into five counties. Unsurprisingly, this process (and deciding which towns would be the county seats) was a highly contentious political issue in Florida at the time. Sebring eventually won the location of the county seat over the town of Avon Park, which is located several miles to the north.

Construction of the courthouse began in June 1926 and was completed in March the next year. Before it was built, courthouse offices were housed in the second story of a downtown building. As the county grew in the early 1920s (Florida was in the midst of a land boom at that time), it became apparent that a new courthouse was needed to accommodate the needs of the growing population. Architect Fred Bishop, who was from Richmond, Virginia, was chosen to design the new building and it is his only known commission in the state. The courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.

Welcher, Vicki L. "Highlands County Courthouse." National Park Service - National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. August 14, 1989.

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