Dubuque County Courthouse

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Dubuque County Courthouse
Dubuque County Courthouse.jpg
Location 720 Central Avenue, Dubuque, Iowa
Coordinates 42°30′3.72″N 90°39′51.58″W / 42.5010333°N 90.6643278°W / 42.5010333; -90.6643278Coordinates: 42°30′3.72″N 90°39′51.58″W / 42.5010333°N 90.6643278°W / 42.5010333; -90.6643278
Built 1891
Architect Heer, Fridolin & Son
Architectural style Renaissance, Romanesque
MPS County Courthouses in Iowa TR (AD)
NRHP reference # 71000298 [1]
Added to NRHP June 23, 1971

The Dubuque County Courthouse is located on Central Avenue, between 7th and 8th Streets, in Dubuque, Iowa. The current structure was built in 1891 to replace an earlier building constructed in 1839. These are believed to be the only two structures to house the county courts and administrative offices.[2]

The courthouse houses several county government including the county auditor, treasurer, attorney, and facilities for the Iowa District Court for Dubuque County.


Historic Dubuque County Jail with courthouse on right

The Dubuque County Courthouse was one of the first buildings in the city added to the National Register of Historic Places. County officials chose architect Fridolin Heer, designer of Sacred Heart Church and several other notable buildings in the city, who designed the structure in the Beaux-Arts style.[3] The adjacent Dubuque County Jail is a National Historic Landmark.

The structure is constructed of red brick and Indiana Limestone with a footprint 88 by 125 feet (27 m × 38 m). It is five-stories topped by a 190-foot (58 m) tower surmounted by a 14-foot (4.3 m) statue of Justice. Upon completion, 12 classic statues adorned the roof, however only six remain.[2] Some reports say the others were removed during World War I to provide materiel for the war effort.[4]


Renovations were done to the building over the years, especially in the 1980s. Changes include the installation of a glass elevator, a granite fountain was placed on the ground floor, and the entrances into the building were moved to the ground level from the second floor. Gold leaf was applied to the tower dome. Given the various weather conditions it did not hold and it had to be repaired. The county reevaluated security at the courthouse following the murders of a judge in Georgia and a judge's family in Illinois. All entrances, but one, were closed and visitors and their possessions were screened.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ a b "Dubuque County Courthouse". Iowa Judicial Branch. Retrieved 2015-07-24. 
  3. ^ "Obituaries — October 2910 to October 1911: Herr, Fridolin J". American Art Annual. MacMillan Company. 9: 313. 1911. 
  4. ^ a b "Dubuque County Court House". Dubuque County. Retrieved 2015-07-24.