Historic Detroit

Municipal Court Building

The Municipal Court Building housed several city courts over the years, such as the police and recorders courts, according to the book “All About Detroit.”

The book “Gentsch’s Dictionary of Detroit and its Vicinity” also notes that the city’s Board of Health had a position known as the “city health officer” who worked out of the building.

This five-story structure opened in 1889 and cost $54,000 (the equivalent of $1.36 million today, when adjusted for inflation) to build. It stood at Clinton and Raynor streets - home to Greektown today, but once the hub of the city’s justice system. The old Wayne County Jail, for instance, is across the street from where this building once stood.

The building was designed by the firm Hess & Raseman. Wagner & Vollbrecht handled the the wood and stone carvings for the building’s interior and exterior ornamentation. The construction company Topping & Fisher was responsible for bringing the blueprints to life.

Thanks to the booming auto industry, however, the growing city soon outgrew the building. A new five-story Municipal Courts Building was built in 1917 at St. Antoine and Macomb streets. This building was then remodeled and became the home of the city’s Buildings & Safety Engineering Department, according to Clarence Burton’s “The City of Detroit, Michigan.”

It’s unclear when this building was demolished.