Antrim County Courthouse, date of photo unknown
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Antrim County Courthouse
Bounded by Cayuga, W. Court, N. Broad, and E. Grove streets, Bellaire - Antrim County
Property Type courthouse
Current Use UNKNOWN
Style Late Victorian
Architect/Builder JENS C. PETERSON
Narrative Description The rectangular, two-and-one-half-story, red brick Antrim County Courthouse is constructed on a gray sandstone foundation with gray rockfaced sandstone trimmings, rounded arch windows, a hipped roof, and projecting clock tower. It is a vernacular example of Late Victorian Eclectic architecture with Romanesque Revival details. The building's cornice is dentiled and made of galvanized steel which has been painted and sanded to match the stone trimming. The word "Courthouse" is chiseled in stone above the entrance. The clock tower rising above the building is over one-hundred feet high. The lower half of the tower is laid with fluted brick panels and the upper part with pilasters enclosing the clock dial measuring five feet in diameter.
Statement of Significance The first structure planned for Bellaire, the new county seat in the spring of 1879 before the village existed, the Antrim County Courthouse was the visual symbol of a county's public life and the definition of a new community's existence. The building, designed by Traverse City architect Jens C. Peterson, was finally constructed between 1904 and 1905 using local materials. The clock was manufactured by the E. Howard Company of Boston, Massachusetts and acquired in 1921. The bronze tower bell came from the E. VanDuzen Company of Cincinnati, Ohio and was installed in 1922. A new courthouse was completed in 1977 to meet the growing needs of the community. The future use of the first Antrim County Courthouse has not yet been determined.
Marker Name Bellaire - The Antrim County Seat
Marker Text BELLAIRE-THE ANTRIM COUNTY SEAT The first pioneers of Antrim County settled along Grand Traverse Bay near Elk Rapids in the 1850s. Later settlers moved inland, and urged that the county seat be transferred from the bay shore closer to the geographical center of the county. After a close election in 1879, Keno, later named Bellaire, became the new county seat. Thus began a bitter controversy which was appealed to the state Supreme Court and lasted for twenty-five years. Although the courthouse square was purchased as early as 1879, the county building was not constructed until 1904-1905 after another vote. Designed by Jens C. Peterson, and built by Waterman and Price, the courthouse cost $30,000.
Period of Significance 1901-1930
Significant Date(s) 1904, 1905
Registry Type(s) 06/19/1974 Marker erected
03/10/1980 National Register listed
04/05/1974 State Register listed
Site ID# P22503