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Old Courthouse

Built1888 - 1890
ArchitectHenry Wolters
Location201 NW 4th St
Evansville, IN

Often referred to simply as the "Old Courthouse," this French, Neo-Baroque behemoth once served as the seat of Vanderburgh County's government. Designed by the architect Henry Wolters, construction began in 1888, and county government personnel started moving in by 1891. Despite cries in the 1960's to demolish the courthouse in an attempt to modernize Downtown Evansville, it was the sheer cost of the proposed razing that spared this landmark the chopping block.

Accounting for inflation, construction cost about $76M in today's dollars; and the justification for that price tag is evident in the Old Courthouses ornately sculpted facades and decorated interiors.

Franz Engelsmann of Chicago is credited with carving the fourteen main statues that surround the courthouse, but they're merely the most prominent examples of ornamentation on this grandiose example of German Beaux-Arts architecture — much about the history of Evansville can be gleaned from the carvings, if you know how to read them.

At its tallest point, 216 feet, the courthouse's classic bell tower dominates the skyline of an increasingly modern Downtown Evansville.