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Monroe County Courthouse

From Bloomingpedia
Southeast corner in 2005. Note the green dome

The Monroe County Courthouse is the seat of government for Monroe County and is the traditional center of Bloomington. The third courthouse to stand on the Downtown Square, the current courthouse was built in 1907 during a time of great prosperity. Wing & Mahurin designed the building. The Courthouse is the only building on the 1907 Courthouse Block, and the centerpiece of the Courthouse Square Historic District. The lawn and sidewalk surrounding the courthouse are frequently used for civic events, festivals, protests and other events. There are also many benches and areas for people to sit or lie down.

The building's official address is 100 W. 5th Street, Bloomington, IN 47404.

  • Geocoordinates: World diagram for coord.png Map from Google
  • Elevation: 239 meters (785 feet)
  • Business Hours: 8am - 4pm

Monuments on the Courthouse Square


Second courthouse, watercolor, Cornelius Perring, 1833

Monroe County's first court house was a dogtrot cabin, two log cabins under a single roof. They were built in 1818 by Samuel Elliott at the site of the old Monroe County jail for the sum of $400. Of the two cabins, one measured 20x20 feet and the other 12x20 feet. They were separated by a ten foot wide breezeway. Each cabin had one door, and the two doors faced each other. A window in each cabin faced the east in order to take advantage of the morning light.

Construction of a more permanent courthouse was started in 1819. It was to be a two-story, brick structure, about 40x45 feet, on what is now the courthouse square. John Ketcham was the contractor. After many delays, the new court house was ready for occupancy in 1826. The total cost was $8,300.00.

Wings were added on the east and west sides of the court house in 1856-57 by John T. Rogers at the cost of $7,000.00. Additional changes were made in 1884, and this courthouse was finally razed in 1906.

The current courthouse was dedicated on July 4, 1908. In 2007 a new copper dome was fabricated in the same style as the original and the old dome, which had long since oxidized and turned green, was replaced. Restorationists said the dome should retain the copper color for about 20 years before it begins to turn green again.

In September of 2008, old style lightposts where added at the 8 sidewalk entrances to the courthouse square.

In 2012, internal renovations included new steel support beams, wiring upgrades, and new temperature control systems, and Indiana University experts cleaned the murals below the dome.


Interesting Features

New copper sheathing on the dome.

Offices in the courthouse

Additional county offices are located in the Justice Building.

Events In and Around the Courthouse

The Courthouse with its Canopy of Lights


  • There was a time capsule placed next to the cornerstone of this courthouse in 1907, historians have been having trouble locating it however. [1]

The Courthouse in Media

  • In 1994, the courthouse was featured prominently in the opening segment of ROX Episode #59, when Bart Everson and Joe Nickell smoked a marijuana cigarette on the front steps, a video clip which was ultimately seen by millions on MTV. Video

External Links