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“Wonderful Attractoin”
Review of Old Courthouse

Old Courthouse
Ranked #26 of 224 things to do in Saint Louis
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Walk the halls where ordinary Americans made civil rights history. Built in 1839, the Old Courthouse is a prime example of mid-19th century federal architecture. But it is two landmark cases that secure its place in history. Beginning in 1847, the enslaved Dred Scott twice sued for his and his wife Harriet’s freedom. But, the U.S. Supreme Court decided against them, ruling that African-Americans were not citizens and had no right to sue. In 1873, St. Louis suffragette Virginia Minor and her husband filed a civil suit arguing for women’s right to vote. Although their suit was denied, they brought great attention to the fight for voting rights for all U.S. citizens.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children
Reviewed October 20, 2017

The courthouse was wonderful, beautiful wood and displays. The guards and others were very knowledgeable and helpful.

Thank Cathy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"dred scott"
in 153 reviews
"beautiful building"
in 75 reviews
"arch tickets"
in 39 reviews
"supreme court"
in 21 reviews
"actual courtroom"
in 10 reviews
"court room"
in 12 reviews
"great history"
in 32 reviews
"lots of history"
in 28 reviews
"the national park service"
in 21 reviews
"short film"
in 11 reviews
"gift shop"
in 48 reviews
"civil war"
in 36 reviews
"piece of history"
in 15 reviews
"buy tickets"
in 26 reviews
"american history"
in 15 reviews
"louis history"
in 19 reviews
"free attraction"
in 12 reviews
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128 - 132 of 950 reviews

Reviewed October 19, 2017 via mobile

Visiting the Courthouse and the Dred and Harriet Scott statue was a highlight to my husband and my St. Louis trip. As an African American, immersing myself in the displays and physically being in the Courthouse which held the Dred Scott trial which literally changed the course of history for African slaves in America (as well as all of America) was something that I will always remember. As I stood in the portals of where history was made which so forcefully impacted my people, it was both very emotional and a source of pride for me. A special moment for me was witnessing a young, white father explain to his 4-year old daughter how the atrocities of slavery and "owning people" were bad. He did this in a way that spoke the truth to her in a sensitive way she could understand. I hope that the displays will be upgraded to more fully and adequately address the signifance of this chapter in American history and that the exhibits will be maintained to address the general wear and tear. Also, I would like to see more options in the gift shop available for Dred Scott memorabilia.

3  Thank Angela B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2017

We visited the Old Courthouse on 10/16/2017 and were there for several hours; could have easily spent another 1-2 hours but were going on a trolley tour so had to get going. The Courthouse is beautiful despite the outside being under renovations. The displays are well done and interesting to read. We enjoyed the short movies that run continuously and provide more information on the displays. The rotunda in the Courthouse is breathless. We climbed to the highest level in the Courthouse and just stood in awe looking at the beautiful paintings and frescoes in the rotunda. There is a nice gift shop but it carries many of the same items as the Arch gift shop but on a smaller basis.

Thank Kanda F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2017

The Park Rangers gave a free tour and were a wealth of information. Beautiful building. You are allowed to see a court room that was restored and site at the judges dais! Great exibit.

Thank Patricia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 14, 2017

This old courthouse is amazing in architecture and decoration. It is managed by the Park Service who purchased it for $1 back in the 1940's (think that's the time frame). Tours are free daily and includes history of the building - there are also a number of historical displays set up in the courthouse with sort videos etc....this is also the courthouse that heard the Dred Scott trial back in the day...lots of books on that topic in the courthouse as well. Highly recommend the tour. Take a look at the Old restored Catholic Church behind the courthouse on your way to the St. Louis Arch - another gem in this city.

Thank Dianne P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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