Courthouse Place

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Cook County Criminal Court Building
HABS-Chicago Courts.jpg
The south (front) and east side of the building. Photo from the Historic American Buildings Survey.
Location 54 West Hubbard Street, Chicago, Illinois
Coordinates 41°53′24.59″N 87°37′48.6″W / 41.8901639°N 87.630167°W / 41.8901639; -87.630167Coordinates: 41°53′24.59″N 87°37′48.6″W / 41.8901639°N 87.630167°W / 41.8901639; -87.630167
Built 1893
Architect Otto H. Matz
Architectural style Romanesque
Governing body Private/Friedman Properties
NRHP Reference # 84000281 [1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHP November 13, 1984
Designated CL June 9, 1993

Courthouse Place, also known as the Cook County Criminal Court Building, is a Richardsonian Romanesque-style building at 54 West Hubbard Street in the Near North Side of Chicago. Designed by architect Otto H. Matz and completed in 1893, it replaced and reused material from the earlier 1874 criminal courthouse (the same location of the trial and hangings related to the Haymarket Affair).[2] The complex included the Cook County Jail and the hanging gallows for prisoners sentenced to death. The current structure housed the Cook County Criminal Courts for its first 35 years, and was the site of many legendary trials, including the Leopold and Loeb murder case, the Black Sox Scandal, and the jazz age trials that formed the basis of the play and musical Chicago. Newspaperman Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur based much of their 1928 play, The Front Page, on the daily events in this structure. Other authors of the Chicago’s 1920s literary renaissance that used the fourth floor pressroom include Carl Sandburg, Sherwood Anderson, and Vincent Starrett.[3] The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on November 13, 1984 and later designated a Chicago Landmark on June 9, 1993.[4]

In 1929, the Criminal Courts left the 54 West Hubbard Street location, and the building was then occupied by the Chicago Board of Health and other city agencies. After poor alterations and years of neglect, the building was acquired by Friedman Properties, Ltd in 1985. The property was restored and refurbished as “Courthouse Place,” an office development later expanded to include the restoration of other surrounding historic buildings.

One of the principal tenants of the building today is the law firm Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott.

This is also the new headquarters for the Chicago Alternative Energy company "Revolution Environmental" and advertising agencies LKH&S and Colman Brohan Davis.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Courthouse Building in Chicago". Metromix. Chicago Tribune. 2007-07-22. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Courthouse Place". Chicago Landmarks. City of Chicago, Department of Zoning and Land Use Planning. Retrieved 2010-09-17.