Norman County Courthouse, 16 East Third Ave, Ada, Minnesota

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Norman County Courthouse

Address: 16 Third Street E
Ada, Minnesota
Norman County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1904
Primary Style: Other
Historic Function: Courthouse
Current Function: Courthouse
Architect or source of design: Omeyer and Thori
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick

Ada Norman County

National Register of Historic Places Information
Reference Number: 83000923
Certification date: May 9, 1983
Level of significance: Local
Primary Style: Romanesque Revival


Memories and stories

In 1883, O.H. Myron and the village of Ada offered to build a courthouse that the county would rent for three years at a cost of $430 a year. The county accepted. Myron built the two-story frame building on land donated by the town at the corner of Third Avenue and Second Street. Myron, five other businessmen, and the Norwegian Lutheran Church paid for it. In 1885, the county bought the building for $2,400 and used it until it built a new courthouse on the same block in 1904. The new courthouse that Omeyer and Thori of St. Paul designed is a textbook example of Richardsonian Romanesque Revival, even though it was completed 10 years after the highpoint of the style's popularity. The 90 by 90 foot, pressed brown brick building is accented by sandstone. It has a tall, square, central tower with peaked corner pavilions and a gabled central section with wide arched windows at its second level. Olaf Swenson of St. Paul built it at a cost of $60,637. Some of the original features remain, including marble wainscoting, granite steps in the front entry, the high central atrium, and most of the 15-foot ceilings. However, there have been alterations over the years. For example, the courtroom ceiling has been lowered and a jury room added behind the judges' bench. In 1975, a 50 by 80 foot building of similar brick was added to the rear of the original structure at a cost of $310,000. The clock tower was restored in 2009. - Historical information adapted from "The First 100 Years... The Minnesota State Bar Association."

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