Larimer County Courthouse History
The Larimer County Justice Center is the fifth building to house the courts since Larimer became a county in 1861, 139 years ago.
1st courthouse, Log Cabin, was in Laporte
Larimer County's first county seat was in the town of Laporte and county government took place in the Log Cabin Courthouse there from 1865-1868. In 1865 the Board of Commissioners appropriated $150.00 to purchase this log cabin, the first Larimer County courthouse.Painted by Betty Lindsey.
Old Grout House, 1st courthouse in FC
A vote of the people made 'Camp Collins' the county seat in 1868, and the county took up residence in the 'Old Grout' building in Fort Collins until 1882.Painted by Mary Weiss.
More space was needed and temporary quarters were used until 1888 when the grand Larimer County Courthouse was opened for business. Voters approved $40,000 to build this building. The cornerstone ceremony in 1887 was historical in that this was the first building citizens approved for this purpose. This courthouse sat on the same block, one block south of the new Justice Center, where the 1950's era courthouse was built. In fact, this 1880's courthouse remained in use and the next courthouse was built around it. When the 1950s courthouse opened in 1957 the 1880's courthouse was demolished.
The cornerstone was laid in 1955 and in 1957 the county took up residence in, what has become known as the 'south wing', phase 1, of the Larimer County Courthouse, 200 West Oak Street, Fort Collins. The building cost of $1.7 million and was paid for by a 'buildings' mill levy which began in 1946, interest earned, and a contingency fund. The north wing was built in 1970. This building currently houses six of the ten elected county officials: the Assessor; the Clerk &Recorder; the three Commissioners; and the Treasurer. The Coroner is located in Loveland, the District Attorney is in the new Justice Center, the Surveyor is in a private business, and the Sheriff's Office is being relocated from the Oak Street complex to the Detention Center campus in East Fort Collins.Painted by Helen Caughey.
The new Larimer County Justice Center is the fifth building in the county seat to house courts in Larimer County. It was dedicated on September 15, 2000.