Lapeer County Courthouse, photo submitted 1969
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Lapeer County Courthouse
Courthouse Square, Nepessing Street, Lapeer - Lapeer County
Property Type courthouse
Style Greek Revival
Significant Person Alvin N. Hart
Narrative Description The impressive Lapeer County Courthouse is a rectangular, two-story, Greek Revival structure resting on a raised brick foundation. A full-height portico with four fluted Doric columns supports a triangular pediment. A squared, three-tiered tower surmounted by a dome is attached to the rear of the main building. All exterior walls are made of brick covered with pine and sided with boards and battens. Inside, circuit court rooms are located on the top floor, administrative offices are on the ground floor, and the district court is in the basement. Directly across the courthouse square, the sheriff's residence and jail have been replaced by the new county office building.
Statement of Significance The Lapeer County Courthouse is a fine example of vernacular Greek Revival architecture and is among the earliest of its kind in the state. The courthouse was commissioned in 1845-46 by State Representative and State Senator Alvin N. Hart, as part of an attempt to win the county seat for his town, and may have been designed using architectural pattern books. The Board of Supervisors of Lapeer County purchased the building from Hart in 1853 for $4,500. The only alteration to the structure was made in 1938 when three doorways were cut through the broad steps of the portico. Currently, the building houses the Lapeer County Historical Society Museum.
Marker Name Lapeer County
Marker Text LAPEER COUNTY Set off by Governor Cass in 1822, this county took its name from the French "La Pierre", a translation of the Indian name for the Flint River. Settlers began to arrive in 1828. The county seat, founded in 1831, was also named Lapeer. Organization of the county government took place in 1835. This courthouse, built in 1839, is the oldest one still in use in Michigan. Farming is the county's principal economic activity, and it was here that the first local Grange in Michigan was founded in 1872.
Period of Significance 1826-1865
Significant Date(s) 1845-1846
Registry Type(s) 05/06/1958 Marker erected
09/03/1971 National Register listed
09/17/1957 State Register listed
Site ID# P23823