You are here

Bay County Building

-A A +A
1931–1934, Joseph C. Goddeyne. 515 Center Ave.

The Bay County Building was the special project of Samuel G. Houghton, a popular county circuit court judge. It was developed during the Great Depression as a county-funded project meant to relieve local unemployment. The new building replaced an 1860s brick Italianate structure created by C. K. Porter of Buffalo, New York. This one was designed by Goddeyne (1889–1964), a prominent local architect.

The county building is a massive, eight-story, sharply rectilinear structure on a weighted base. Its steel frame is sheathed in limestone and granite. Piers rise up the entire face, creating a strong vertical emphasis, and the upper stories are stepped back. The Art Deco styling is a clean and functional departure from the revival styles popularly used at the time for governmental buildings in Michigan and elsewhere. The building's interior is intact with its original Art Deco detailing and many of its furnishings. Of special interest is the entrance foyer, with a painted ceiling fascia and engraved brass elevator doors, and the fourth-floor circuit courtroom, with its original oak wainscoting, balcony, and relief plaster wall sculptures.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "Bay County Building", [Bay City, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 326-326.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.