Search

The Second St. Joseph County Courthouse

12) The Second St. Joseph County Courthouse

112 S. Lafayette Blvd.

The St. Joseph County Courthouse has been continuous operation of the court since its inception in 1831. In the 1840s and 1850s, many area citizens – both black and white – were secretly involved in helping fugitive slaves escape from the South. Two court cases, Norris v. Newton and Norris v. Crocker, ultimately made it from this courthouse to the U.S. Supreme Court. This Greek Revival structure, built in 1855 and designed by architect John M. Van Osdel, was moved to the corner of Lafayette and Washington in 1896 and is the oldest remaining building in downtown. It served as a civil-rights landmark throughout history, including this commemoration after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In September 1970, the courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.