Thursday, October 11, 2018

Explore St Louis-The Old Courthouse

Historic Old Courthouse in St. Louis photo by mbgphoto
In this post I will give you a pictorial review of the Old Courthouse in St. Louis Missouri. 

History of Old Courthouse

First I'd like to give you a very brief history of the Old Courthouse.  In 1816 land was donated for a courthouse in St.  Louis.  This land is just west of the St. Louis riverfront.  A federal style brick courthouse was first built on the site in 1828.  By the mid 1830's St. Louis had already outgrown this courthouse.  In 1839 construction began on the current courthouse which incorporated the original courthouse as part of the east wing.  Other revisions have been made to the courthouse over the years and the courts remained in the building until 1930.  In 1935 the courthouse became a National Monument and today it hosts many visitors.   The view below is from the southwest.

Historic Old Courthouse in St. Louis photo by mbgphoto

Important Events at Old Courthouse

There have been many important decisions made and events happening at the Old Courthouse.
Two of the most well known include:

  • 1847 and 1850  Dred and Harriet Scott sued for their freedom.
  • 1872  Virginia Minor sued for the right to vote.
Both of these cases ended up going to the Supreme Court and lost.  But they are both considered to be key  turning points in history.

Prior to the Civil war slaves were sold on the courthouse steps. See the plaque below along with  two photos depicting the Dred Scott case.
information plaque in Historic Old Courthouse in St. Louis photo by mbgphoto

statue at Historic Old Courthouse in St. Louis photo by mbgphoto

plaque at Historic Old Courthouse in St. Louis photo by mbgphoto

Photographing the Old Courthouse

I was able to go down to the Old Courthouse on two different occasions in September and was able to photograph the Old Courthouse from different angles.  The photo below shows the courthouse in a distance as I was walking through the park just west of the courthouse.
gorgeous picture of the St Louis Gateway Arch and Historic Old Courthouse in St. Louis photo by mbgphoto
In 1965 the opening of the Gateway Arch changed the landscape of downtown St. Louis.  Since that time a popular photo of the Old Courthouse is one where it is framed by the arch as you see in the photo below.
Historic Old Courthouse in St. Louis photo by mbgphoto
On my second visit during September to photograph down by the arch and courthouse we arrived before sunrise and were able to get some photographs in the early morning light.
Historic Old Courthouse in St. Louis photo by mbgphoto

Historic Old Courthouse in St. Louis photo by mbgphoto

Zazzle Items from my Photographs

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  1. Gorgeous photos of the St. Louis old courthouse. It seems a shame that the courts have moved from that building. It is so beautiful! What a joy it would be to walk the halls of that historic place and work there everyday, adding to the history of the place. But, I am sure there were excellent reasons for moving to a new courthouse. I can't image though that anything new would be as beautiful as the old courthouse. Thank you for sharing the history and your lovely photos Mary Beth!

  2. Mary Beth, I love the way you show us places we may never get to and tell their stories. Love that photo of the arch framing the courthouse. I never realized that slaves had been sold on the steps of any courthouse. How horrible, though it was equally horrible they should be sold anywhere.

    There is something special about these old buildings, but they get replaced for many reasons. Some in California have been replaced because they were not earthquake safe. Some of the buildings, like our old Paso Robles Carnegie Library, our towns have just outgrown. We replaced them with more modern buildings that are designed to conserve energy. They are functional and serve us well, but don't have that same sense of history. Paso Robles, after repairing and retrofitting after a major earthquake, turned its Carnegie Library building into the headquarters of the historical society and historical museum.

  3. I love learning the history of old buildings. Many have historical significance as you related here about the St Louis courthouse. I have been by it several times, but not inside. Wonderful photos as always, Mary Beth

  4. Very interesting. Your photos are beautiful. The whole area is lovely. Loved your tidbits of history on the old courthouse in St. Louis.

  5. Interesting! about the courthouse with and without arch. Love the arch + courthouse image!

  6. Looks like I need to make another trip and stop in St. Louis. These are beautiful and very picturesque! Looks like a great place to stop and visit. Next time I'm down your way, I will too!


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