A radical departure from the traditional Classical style Virginia courthouse, this building illustrates the public acceptance of exotic taste in late antebellum times.
Designed by Charles Haskins of the Washington firm of Haskins & Alexander and erected in 1858-59, the building has the characteristics of an Italian Villa style: deep bracketed cornices, shallow-hipped roofs, and a square tower.
The courthouse is Orange County's fourth court building constructed specifically as such in the town of Orange. It replaced an existing courthouse that was taken down as the result of railroad construction.
The arcaded openings on the first floor were filled in circa 1948, but were opened in 2003 during a recent restoration.
The courthouse is complemented by its clerk's office, jail, and Confederate monument. An architecturally sympathetic addition is currently under construction on the courthouse north end.