Hillsdale County courthouse, photo taken c.1982
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Hillsdale County Courthouse
Courthouse Square, Howell Street, Hillsdale - Hillsdale County
Property Type courthouse
Historic Use GOVERNMENT
Current Use GOVERNMENT
Style Late Victorian
Architect/Builder Claire Allen
Narrative Description Set in a trapezoidal courthouse "square" in the center of downtown Hillsdale, the Hillsdale County Courthouse is a symmetrical, three-story-plus-attic, Renaissance Revival structure of yellow sandstone. Altered very little over the years, the courthouse has a hip roof crowned by a double-decker, copper-tile-roofed cupola and fronting the main entrance, a pedimented portico resting on an arcaded porch.
Statement of Significance The Hillsdale County Courthouse was constructed in 1898 to 1899 and stands in the public square that has contained successive courthouses since the 1840s. Significant as a local and county historical landmark, the courthouse is also important in architectural terms as a notable example of the Renaissance Revival style of architecture and as one of four Michigan courthouses designed by Claire Allen, of Jackson, a prominent southern Michigan architect of the early twentieth century.
Marker Name Hillsdale
Marker Text HILLSDALE The plat for the village of Hillsdale was filed in July 1839, though the first settlement probably occurred a few years previously. Before that time this area had been inhabited mainly by a band of Potawatomi Indians led by their chief, Baw Beese. Jonesville was the first county seat, but Hillsdale gained this distinction in 1843 due to its more central location and the completion of the Michigan Southern Railroad to the town. The first Hillsdale County Fair was held on this site in 1851. Hillsdale College opened for classes in November 1855, and the city received its charter in April 1869.
Period of Significance 1866-1900
Registry Type(s) 08/13/1969 Marker erected
08/11/1982 National Register listed
04/10/1969 State Register listed
Site ID# P23232