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Grand Old Lady - The Lake County Courthouse
Old Lake County Courthouse

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 visitors.

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.

Old Lake County Courthouse

More Historical Information on the Lake County Courthouse

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.


Sources

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 Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 556
Crown Point, Indiana 46307-0556
(219) 663-0660


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