The New Court House Of 1897
A detailed description of the exterior of the new court house does not
seem necessary; it stands out with such grandeur. A typical temple of
justice. The finely proportioned dome, the four turrets, and two
pavilions, most materially add to the structure. Its dimensions are one
hundred and fifty feet long, fifty feet wide, with extended pavilions and
turrets on the two sides. The main structure is sixty feet high, the
central dome towering to a height of one hundred and fifty feet. The
magnificent, strong and stable presentation of the interior, including the
marble work, wood work, painting, tile flooring, bronze, iron, fresco and
other ornamental work, harmonize; all reflecting great credit on the
architects, Gunn and Curtis; Charles J. Larkin, the contractor, and
Stephen J. Collin, superintendent.
In the basement is the engine room, fans, steam pipes, engineer's work room, and store room for old time files and records. The. boiler room is in a separate brick building in the rear of the jail building, a tunnel running from the boiler room, to the engine room of the court house. On the first floor are grouped the offices of the sheriff, the master in chancery, the coroner, the janitor, the county superintendent of schools, ladies' waiting room, the county surveyor, public and ladies' lavatories, and waiting rooms. Broad stairways lead to the upper floors, also a good elevator.
On the second floor are the offices of county judge, circuit clerk, county clerk, county treasurer, also county court room and super-visors' room. The circuit and county clerks' offices have large, well lighted, roomy vaults adjoining, fitted with metallic furnishings.
On the third floor circuit court room, judge's private room, court stenographer's rooms, court library room, clerk of the court room, rooms for state's attorney. (private and reception), jury rooms, and witness rooms. On the fourth floor is the Memorial Hall designed for the Grand Army of the Republic members, and other loyal societies. The furnishings throughout all the offices are exceedingly rich, tasty, and substantial.
The following material was used in its construction: Over 2,000 perch of LeClaire stone was used in the foundation, which is laid on rock foundation, with one foot of rock concrete on the bottom to fill holes and level off. The base or water table is of Carthage, Mo., granite; the die and sill course of dressed blue Bedford stone. The first and second stories of rock-faced buff Bedford stone and the two upper stories of sand-rubbed buff Bedford. Eighteen thousand cubic feet of stone was used above the foundations; 360 tons of iron beams in the buildings, 120 tons of steel was used in the construction of the tower, and about eighty tons of steel was used in the ornamental work. One million six hundred thousand hard brick was purchased and used in the structure; eighty tons of copper for cornices and roofing; 40,000 square feet fire proofing for arches; 15,000 square feet of plain plastering, besides a large amount of ornamental stucco work; 30,000 feet of maple flooring, together with 11,000 square feet Mosiac flooring; 7,500 feet Tennessee marble wainscoting.
The floors contain 2,250,000 pieces of marble. Four nations contribute to the floor; black marble from Belgium, red from France, white from Italy, and pink from Tennessee.
The board of supervisors, through their broad and liberal spirit, together with the strenuous and faithful efforts of the citizens' committee brought about the result of giving the county the handsome building we have. The dedication ceremonies occurred March 31, 1897, and were unusually prominent, the new court house being opened for inspection, the circuit court in session in the old court house, adjourning to the new court house for the dedication ceremonies, and occupancy by the court, and the presentation by the chairman of the board of supervisors of the keys of the new building to the sheriff of the county.
The following addresses were made by William Jackson and Charles L. Walker, the sentiment of which toward the bench and the bar were exceptionally complimentary.
Source: Historic Rock Island County, pub. Kramer & Company, Rock Island, Illinois, 1908