Red Lake County Courthouse, 124 Langevin, Red Lake Falls, Minnesota

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Red Lake County Courthouse

Address: 124 Langevin
Red Lake Falls, Minnesota
Red Lake County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1910
Primary Style: Beaux Arts
Historic Function: Courthouse
Current Function: Courthouse
Architect or source of design: Fremont D. Orff
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Brick

Red Lake Falls Red Lake County

National Register of Historic Places Information
Reference Number: 83000941
Certification date: May 9, 1983
Level of significance: Local
Primary Style: Beaux Arts

Though Red Lake Falls was the natural choice for the county seat in the 1890s, the 1905 Soo Line railroad that was built through Thief River Falls and the discussion of building a permanent courthouse led to a long a bitter fight for county headquarters. Finally, suspected arson brought the issue to a head. In April 1909, the original wooden courthouse burned to the ground as the fire brigade arrived suspiciously late. A vote on the new building was taken before an election could change the Red Lake majority on the board of commissioners. The final vote occurred in February 1910. The courthouse was completed on donated land in 1911 at a cost of $37,070. The Beaux Arts style building was designed by Fremont D. Orff. Each of the four corner pavilions of the brick structure has its own small drum and dome. A large central dome, seen in the photo above, was removed in the 1940s leaving the square balustered platform. The only other major change since the Building's construction was the removal of the attached jail. Tri-County Community Corrections at Crookston currently serves Red Lake County. The main entrance of the courthouse is topped by a classic pediment and entablature. Inside, a two-story central rotunda has arched openings onto thesecond level's cicling hallway. Scenic murals once decorated the triangular spaces forming the base of the closed-off dome.


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The Minnesota Historical Society holds many of the historical records, such as naturalization and civil ad criminal case files, of Minnesota courthouse. State laws restrict some access to records. The Minnesota State BAR Association published "The First 100 Years--", which holds a more complete history of the judicial branch on both local and the states levels.

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