Weld County Courthouse
In the early 1900’s, Weld County was desperate for a new courthouse; the brick structure in use was quickly becoming too small to accommodate the growing county staff or the needs of the booming population. In early January of 1915, the Board of Commissioners passed a resolution to advertise for bids for the razing of the existing courthouse and they began working with renowned architect W. N. Bowman to design a new, lavish courthouse.
Bowman finished the building with elaborate hand-cast plaster depictions of ancient Greek and Roman symbols, colorful stories-high stained-glass windows and even a car garage on the first floor. The final cost of the building was around $414,000, and it took only two years to complete.
This structure was more than just beautiful, however—it was also extremely innovative and practical. After years of hiring guards to watch rooms full of courthouse documents for fear that they may catch fire and burn (which was common due to the haphazard electrical technology of the day), finally the county had a 100%, absolutely fireproof courthouse. Built using steel framework and no wood at all (the only wood found in the entire building is a few railings and pieces of furniture) this building would never be subject to fire despite having both gas and electrical lighting features.
Further, this courthouse was the first in Colorado with accommodations for jurors to stay overnight—a necessity of the time, as jurors would often have to travel for miles on horseback from across the county to serve at the courthouse. Up to twelve men and six women could be accommodated in the courthouse, and they were treated to such luxuries as water heaters in the bathrooms (the building even had a women’s restroom, something of a rarity at the time).
You take a self-guided tour of this beautiful building - our self-guided tour card will help explain all the details you'll find. Click here to download the tour card.(PDF, 3MB)
To learn more about this history of this building, please visit the Weld County history website.