Cuyahoga County Courthouse

Cuyahoga County Courthouse, Cleveland

Cuyahoga County Courthouse
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< 1 hour
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The area

4 reviews
Very good

London, Canada528 contributions
Jul 2015 • Couples
During a recent visit to Cleveland we met a local resident out on The Mall who saw us taking photos of the surrounding buildings. It led to a conversation where he recommended that we visit the Cuyahoga County Courthouse (aka the Old Courthouse) which lies just northwest of The Mall. He also suggested we try to get a peek inside one particular court room that apparently hasn't been altered since the building's original construction over 100 years ago. We took him at his word and walked over.

Apparently Clevelanders refer to this particular building as the "Old Courthouse" to distinguish it from the newer buildings that house the jail and criminal courts located in the nearby Justice Center on Ontario Street. The Old Courthouse is now only used for appeals and probate cases. It may not be specifically set up as a point of interest for tourists but it's still a publicly accessible government building.

After passing between two imposing statues of Jefferson and Hamilton, we cleared security and then began exploring the building. You first enter a beautiful large multi-storey atrium bordered by a series of large arches that support the vaulted ceiling and skylights. You could spend a lot of quiet time in the atrium just studying the details.

To the right off the entry to the atrium is a marble double staircase centered by a very impressive 20-foot-high stained glass window. After studying the window we went up the staircase to the second floor, where there are several large wall murals depicting events from the history of law over the ages. You could spend a long time studying the murals as well.

We wandered the corridors a bit and then happened upon some staffers in an open office. We told them about how we'd been referred by a resident to see a particularly historical room, and they knew exactly which one we meant, which turned out to be only a few steps away from where we were standing.

The staffers consented to us having a quick look since the court room was not in use. It's not particularly big, but it represents living history and it's a wonderful space to see firsthand if you can wangle your way to get a view. Even if you can't get in to see the court room, making time to see the overall building itself is worthwhile.

The Old Courthouse is a great old building that seems to have escaped most people's attention judging by the lack of an existing TripAdvisor attraction listing. Literally hundreds of thousands of football fans must have walked past it on the way to games right next door at First Energy Stadium without giving the courthouse a second thought as to its exterior beauty and what lies inside.

(Note: photos to come after approval by tripadvisor of the Cuyahoga County Courthouse as a Cleveland attraction)
Written August 2, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lee D
Montreal, Canada1,948 contributions
Apr 2018 • Solo
I asked at security if I was able to view the building I was advised as long as I go through security check no problem.

Such an impressive building which is still used as a court as well today. No charge for access but if your here take the time to go around it’s worth the extra time.
Written April 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

McKinney, TX1,782 contributions
Aug 2016
A beautiful old courthouse that has not been changed by time. The architecture is amazing to view. From the floors to the intricate court rooms. It’s hard to believe that this has not been turned into a museum. It is well worth going through security to view this rare gem.
Written August 20, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

New Castle, PA194 contributions
Aug 2016 • Couples
We had a family wedding reception here. We scoped it out the day before, beautiful architecture and murals. Center marbled-floor room that was roped off, we figured that was the reception space. The area, with tables, bar and dance floor space was much larger than it looked when empty. We were upstairs all around perimeter for cocktail hour. There are elevators for those who can't or don't want to use the grand staircase. Gorgeous stained glass there. Only downside was no ac on a hot humid night. Had to rent generators and it was okay. Odd.
Written August 21, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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