For decades, citizens of Allen County have walked across the floors of its courthouse. Unbeknownst to most, the floors of the Allen County Courthouse are a unique feature of the building; a feature noted on its application for National Historic Landmark status.
Covering all three floors of the Allen County Courthouse are encaustic tiles; a type of tile where the color is permeated from the clay rather than from a coating or glaze, allowing for the color and design to stay intact for decades even after usage and wear.
Encaustic tile making has been around for centuries, but it wasn't until the Gothic-Revival period that these tiles advanced to the forefront of popularity.
The encaustic tiles that we see on the courthouse floor were unique during their time, as they closely imitated mosaic work, including the use of multiple colors instead of the traditional two-color pattern. This new process was patented by Herman Mueller.