|Grand Old Lady - The Lake
||The Lake County Courthouse, affectionately referred to as the
"Grand Old Lady," eloquently displays combined architectural styles: Romanesque
and Georgian. Designed by J. C. Cochran of Chicago, Illinois, this ornate building has
been a landmark in Lake County since its erection in 1878.
So many people who
visit the historic structure are appreciative of such an attractive and impressive
courthouse. The Lake County Courthouse continues to be the center or topic and of pride to
those who view it.
|Yet, surprisingly, this grand building was once threatened to be
demolished in order to create a parking lot. Thankfully, the historical structure was
saved from demolition by a group of dedicated citizens. Now placed on the National
Register of Historic Places (since May 17, 1973), the Lake County Courthouse is
meticulously maintained in order to welcome tourists, shoppers, and other appreciative
Retired as the
house of county government, "The Grand Old Lady" now harbors a medley of unique
shops, even a museum featuring Crown Point historical memorabilia.
More Historical Information on the Lake County
The first permanent settlers in Lake County were Solon
Robinson and Mariah Evans Robinson, who arrived in the Crown Point area in October of
1834. Crown Point, the county seat, was founded in 1834 and incorporated in 1868. Land was
deeded for a courthouse and public square by Solon Robinson.
Actually, the very first courthouse for Lake County was a two-story log
structure, funded by Solon Robinson at his own expense.
In 1878, a plan
for a more imposing courthouse and public
square came into fruition. Erection of the central portion of the
courthouse, including the clock tower, began in 1878. Designer for the courthouse was J.
C. Cochran of Chicago, Illinois. Construction materialized through Thomas and Hugh Colwell
of Ottawa, Illinois. This original portion of the courthouse was dedicated in 1880 and
reached a final cost $52,000.
Because of the expansion of county government, the celebrated courthouse was
enlarged by adding a north and south tower. These two-story additions, begun in 1907 and
dedicated in 1909, cost $160,000. Architects for the project were Beers and Beers of
Chicago. Continued county growth required the addition of single story north and south
wings in 1928 at a cost of $80,000.
The Courthouse depicts an age of advancement for Lake County, one of great
economic expanse of the oil industry forged by John D. Rockefeller and the beginning of
the steel mills by Judge Elbert Gary, making the Calumet Region one of the greatest
industrial regions of the world.
The Lake County Courthouse is well-recognized as one of the finest
architectural expressions in the state of Indiana. Standing as an impressive historical
monument, it will surely continue to represent a steep sense of pride for Lake County and
Crown Point, Indiana.
The Lake Court House Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization, continues to maintain
and renovate the building.
Lake Court House Foundation, Inc.
Swisher, Charles W. and Swisher, Mable Wise. Crown Point, Indiana 1834-1984: The Hub
City. L. E. Laney & son., Crown Point: 1984.
|Become a member of
Lake Court House Foundation Inc.
Print this form and mail it to
Lake Court House
P.O. Box 556
Crown Point, Indiana 46307-0556
City, State, Zip __________________________
Please register me
(us) as a member:
__ Enclosed $______ for my annual dues.
__ Enclosed $______ as an additional donation.
(Your donation is tax exempt.)
Memberships (check one)
__ Contributing Membership $15
__ Family (1 membership vote) $25
__ Active Membership
__ Supporting Membership $100
__ Life Membership