Marquette County Courthouse photo submitted 1978
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Marquette County Courthouse
400Third Street, Marquette - Marquette County
Property Type courthouse
Historic Use GOVERNMENT
Current Use GOVERNMENT
Style Beaux Arts
Architect/Builder Charlton, Gilbert and DeMar
Narrative Description The Marquette County Courthouse is a two-story, Beaux Arts structure with walls of rock-faced Portage Entry sandstone. The front facade is divided into three bays; a projecting three-story center bay is fronted by a massive two-story tetrastyle portico, and the building is flanked on both sides by two-story wings. The flat roof is surmounted by a large central dome. Quoins, a denticulated copper cornice with triglyphs and metopes, and Doric columns ornament the building.
Statement of Significance The county courthouse in Marquette is significant as one of the most distinguished sandstone structures in the county and because it was the setting for several nationally significant trials. It was at this courthouse that President Theodore Roosevelt won a libel suit against George A. Newitt, an Ishpeming newspaper editor. The building was the setting for the best selling novel, ANATOMY OF A MURDER, and was also the site for the filming of the movie by the same name. Built in 1904 from plans by the architectural firm of Charleton, Gilbert and Demar at a cost of $204,000, the courthouse was built almost exclusively using local sandstone. Though a new courthouse and jail have been joined to the building by a tunnel, the structure is still in use and well maintained.
Marker Name Marquette County Courthouse
Marker Text MARQUETTE COUNTY COURTHOUSE This Neo-Classical Revival structure, designed by Charlton, Gilbert and Demar of Marquette, was constructed in 1902-1904 at a cost of $210,000. Built of local sandstone, it is the second courthouse to occupy this site. In a case tried here in 1913, President Theodore Roosevelt won a libel suit against Ishpeming newspaper publisher George Newett and was awarded six cents, "the price of a good newspaper." Another case tried here inspired Anatomy of a Murder, a novel by Ishpeming resident John D. Voelker. In 1959 the courthouse was the setting of the motion picture based on the novel. The picture was directed by Otto Preminger and the musical score for the movie was written by Duke Ellington. The courthouse was renovated in 1982-1984 at a cost of 2.4 million dollars.
Period of Significance 1901-1930
Significant Date(s) 1904
Registry Type(s) 03/19/1985 Marker erected
03/29/1978 National Register listed
08/06/1976 State Register listed
Site ID# P24141