You are here
Montcalm County Building (Montcalm County Courthouse)
The Montcalm County Courthouse was built high in the center of courthouse square as the pine forests dwindled and the economy of the county shifted to agriculture. In 1860, fifty years earlier, the Montcalm County seat was moved from its temporary location in Greenville to this site in the forest. Land was acquired for the courthouse grounds and village, and lots were platted for churches and houses. In 1870 Seth Sprague built the first courthouse. The second courthouse, a brick and stone building with a mansard roof and tower, was erected in 1879–1880 by Jacob V. Consaul of Grand Haven.
After five years of failed attempts, proponents for a new courthouse succeeded in winning over the voters. In April 1910 a bond issue was passed for the construction of a new courthouse, jail, and sheriff's residence. Bowd of Lansing came up with the design for a simple Beaux-Arts classical building with Georgian overtones that met the requirements of a modest budget but conveyed the dignity of county government. This scheme resembles his designs for the Wexford County Courthouse (1910–1911) in Cadillac and the Holland City Hall (1909–1911). The flat-roofed rectangular light orangish-brown brick building stands on a raised smooth sandstone foundation. Paired giant Ionic columns support a central pedimented entrance portico. An entablature, the cornice of which is supported by block modillions, encircles the building beneath the parapet. Wright and Prall of Ionia built the courthouse. The building continues to house some county offices, but, in c. 2008, the court moved to a new complex on MI 66 north of Stanton.
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.