Pipestone County Courthouse, 416 South Hiawatha Avenue, Pipestone, Minnesota

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Pipestone County Courthouse

Postcard of the courthouse, circa 1909
Address: 416 Hiawatha Avenue S
Pipestone, Minnesota
Pipestone County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1900
Primary Style: Beaux Arts
Historic Function: Courthouse
Current Function: Courthouse
Architect or source of design: George Pass
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick
Material of Foundation: Stone

Pipestone Pipestone County

National Register of Historic Places Information
Reference Number: 80002121
Certification date: March 31, 1980
Level of significance: Local
Primary Style: Beaux Arts

Prior to the building of the formal courthouse, shown above in 1920, Pipestone County business was conducted in various locations in the city of Pipestone, including an 1895 stone sheriff's residence and county jail. George Pass of Pass & Schippel of Mankato designed the 1901 courthouse and C.H. Peltier of Faribault bid $45,175 to build it. County commissioners had planned to use taxes to pay for the building, but were told a few months before it was completed that doing so was illegal. They were forced to stop construction and seek approval of $20,000 in bonds. Even so, the December 1901 term of court convened in the completed 42 by 68 foot courtroom with a 24-foot-high ceiling. The courthouse has two noteworthy features in addition to its Sioux quartzite material. One is the bronze figure of Justice standing on the towering dome. The other is the limestone statue of a Civil War foot soldier atop a courthouse lawn monument. The statute honors 201 named veterans of the Civil and Spanish American Wars. He was carved by local sculptor L.H. Moore and was dedicated on July 4, 1901. The courthouse itself is an academic 100 by 75 foot rectangle with a Renaissance dome, though its heavily rusticated masonry suggests a Richardsonian style. The raised basement and high attic with dormers give the two-story building the appearance of having four levels. Inside, the building is finished with elaborate hard oak woodwork. A 1975 single-story addition is painted cinder block, though its exterior of red brick and concrete joined by a glass walkway blend with the original


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The Minnesota Historical Society holds many of the historical records, such as naturalization and civil and criminal case files, of Minnesota courthouses. State laws restrict some access to records. The Minnesota State BAR association published The First 100 Years— , which holds a more complete history of the judicial history on both the local and state levels.

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