Landmark: United States Logo

Old Courthouse

11 North 4th Street
St. Louis, Missouri, 63102

Old Courthouse
Photo: Ajay Suresh License: CC BY 2.0
The Old St. Louis County Courthouse was built as a combination federal and state courthouse in St. Louis, Missouri. Missouri's tallest habitable building from 1864 to 1894, it is now part of Gateway Arch National Park.
In 1839, ground was broken on a courthouse designed by Henry Singleton in the Greek Revival style, with four wings, including an east wing that comprised the original courthouse and a three-story cupola dome at the center.

In 1861, William Rumbold replaced the cupola with an Italian Renaissance cast iron dome modeled on St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. The United States Capitol dome, built at the same time during the American Civil War, is also modeled on the basilica. The St. Louis dome was completed in 1864, and Karl Ferdinand Wimar was commissioned to paint murals, which are featured in the rotunda.

Rumbold's dome in the courthouse is wrought and cast iron with a copper exterior. Four lunettes in the dome have paintings by Carl Wimar, depicting four events in St. Louis history. Ettore Miragoli painted over them in 1880, but they were restored in 1888.

The National Park Service maintains four history galleries on St. Louis and NPS offices within. The courthouse once had up to 12 courtrooms, but now there are two in period presentation. The east wing has Circuit Court #13 restored to its 1910 appearance, while the west wing has Circuit Court #4 restored to an approximate 1850s detail.

The courthouse building was the tallest building in Missouri and St. Louis until 1896 when Union Station was built. It remained the largest structure in the national monument until the Gateway Arch was built in 1965.

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Old Courthouse

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