Jackson County Courthouse (Kansas City, Missouri)
It was built in 1934, designed by Wight and Wight in an Art Deco style. Harry S. Truman who was presiding judge of the Jackson County Court at the time had wanted it designed similar to the Caddo Parish, Louisiana courthouse in Shreveport, Louisiana. Edward F. Neild who designed the Shreveport courthouse was hired as consulting architect-engineer. Neild would later die while designing the Truman Library.
It replaced the previous Kansas City courthouse annex at 5th and Oak, which was a fire hazard and needed to be replaced. It was approved in a 1931 $4 million bond issue (which also included construction of the neighboring Kansas City City Hall. It was dedicated in December 1934. Truman had an office in the new courthouse building during most of his first term as U.S. Senator from 1935 to 1939.
In 1922, Harry S. Truman won election as county judge for eastern Jackson County as a candidate of the Tom Pendergast faction of the Democratic Party. He failed to be re-elected in 1924, but, then won election as presiding judge in 1926. Truman served in this position in effect as county commissioner for eight years. He divided his time between the two Jackson County courthouses: the courthouse in Independence in Independence and this one in Kansas City.
The courthouse contains an elaborate painted ceiling on the 2nd floor featuring portraits of county employees. The mural was completed by artist Chris Doyle in 2008. In the lobby are five medallions representing Faith, Authority, Justice, Aspiration, and Progress. They were sculpted in white and bronze by Kansas City sculptor Jorgen Dreyer.
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