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New Haven County Courthouse, Waterbury

Waterbury Courthouse - 1907
Postmarked 1905
Waterbury Courthouse
Copyright pre-March 1907
New Haven County Courthouse, Waterbury
Copyright pre-March 1907

Waterbury Courthouse
Published pre-March 1907
 

New Haven County Courthouse at Waterbury
Postmarked 1907

Waterbury Courthouse - 1910
Postmarked 1910

New Haven County Courthouse, Waterbury
Postmarked 1916

After more than 100 years of petitioning the State Legislature to create a new county and name Waterbury its county seat, the city government finally was granted part of its wish. In 1872, the State Legislature ordered that two sessions of Superior Court would be held each year in Waterbury—thus making the City half a shire town—provided that proper accommodations were provided. 
 

Waterbury City Hall
Waterbury City Hall
Published pre-March 1907

Not to let the moment pass, the town fathers made certain that there was a courtroom in the new City Hall, which was opened in 1869. Accompanying the courtroom in this space were a jury room, clerk’s room and a fireproof vault. From 1867 to 1896, Waterbury sessions of the Superior Court for New Haven County were held in this courtroom at the southeast corner of the building. Previously these cases were held in New Haven.

But the building of the police station in 1890 at the southeast side of City Hall blocked out both light and air to a great extent in the courtroom. This prompted complaints by attorneys and judges, who would often adjourn the terms of the Waterbury Superior Court to New Haven.

To help remedy this situation, the Connecticut Legislature, in 1895, authorized the erection of a new County Courthouse in the City of Waterbury and mandated that the City and New Haven County share the cost of the building. 

The new Courthouse, designed by noted architect Wilfred Elizur Griggs, was erected on the corner of Leavenworth Street and Kendrick Avenue, with the entrance on Leavenworth. The building, which cost $91,000, was opened for business in 1896.

Odd Fellows Building, Waterbury
Published
pre-March 1907

Odd Fellows Building, Waterbury, CT   But demand for space soon necessitated its renovation. Griggs completed this renovation in 1911 at a cost of $164,412 (this did not include the interior furnishings). During the renovation court was moved to one of the floors of the Odd Fellows Building. Court was held there from March 7, 1910 until August 1, 1911.

The architect completely changed the exterior of the Courthouse, which included removing the dome, and expanded the interior with two more wings and a third floor. The Leavenworth Street façade was torn down and the building enlarged with a new entrance constructed facing Kendrick Avenue. The renovated Courthouse was built in the Italian Renaissance style, with four massive Ionic columns at its entrance. The exterior was constructed of red tapestry brick and granite with terra cotta for the ornamental work. 

The building housed three tall and stately courtrooms with ash woodwork and comfortable jury rooms. 

Judge Lucien F. Burpee held the first session of Superior Court in the newly renovated building on September 12, 1911.


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New Haven County Courthouse, Waterbury
Postmarked 1916
Waterbury Courthouse
Published pre-March 1923
Birds eye view of Waterbury
Birds Eye View of Waterbury

   

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