Ceremonies were held last Monday outside the Benton County Courthouse to mark its 25th year serving Benton County. Although the old courthouse toppled in the 2031 quake, the nearby County Jail survived intact, so it was decided to build the new courthouse in a style complementing the historic jail structure.
Corvallis’ mayor and the Supreme City Council, as well as the Benton County Sheriff and Corvallis Police Chief, were present.
The mayor spoke of how the courthouse set the tone for all of City and County government, drawing inspiration from its majestic, dignified simplicity. “The face of every police officer and every receptionist and clerk presents to the public the same reliability, the same impartiality, the same total blankness,” the mayor declared.
The sheriff praised the “enduring beauty” of the courthouse and the jail, and took the opportunity to make yet another plea for the citizens to fund a new and larger jail, so the county could avoid the expense of boarding prisoners in Idaho and Utah.
The only person present at the original dedication of the courthouse in 2041 who was also able to attend the 25th anniversary celebration was the courthouse’s architect, the late Mohammad Lee. Lee attended in the form of an AI simulacrum, operating an anthropomorphic drone. Lee spoke at length about the elegant simplicity of his design, declaring it was as close as he had ever come to “the glorious heights to which the Soviet architecture soared” in the 1950s.
Lee went on to talk about his early career, and then about his early school days. He was finally picked up and removed from the Courthouse steps by a pair of Corvallis Police officers when he began talking about his early toilet training. His monitors at the Bhutanese facility which maintains his servers apologized for the error.
By John M. Burt