In 1902 the voters of Marquette County approved issuance of bonds for a new courthouse, and the original wooden courthouse, built in 1857, was moved off the site. In its place on a hill that slopes gradually toward Marquette Bay, this steel-framed Beaux-Arts classical courthouse was erected. Its rock-faced masonry walls, so joyously out of character with its classical detailing, are of the red sandstone of the North Country, a material long out of favor elsewhere. The building is domed, with a three-story central section flanked by two-story wings; a colossal Doric-columned portico marks the entrance. A Doric entablature with a copper cornice encircles the building. The courtroom on the second floor, which is under the dome with stained glass lights, is finished with mahogany. At a time when half of the county's 40,000 residents resided in the iron range towns of Ishpeming and Negaunee, the solid dignified courthouse proclaimed Marquette as the seat of county government.
The Henry A. Skewis Annex (1976–1977; 234 W. Baraga Street) houses government offices and courts. The rich brown concrete block squares of the walls tie the annex to the historic courthouse, and the intimate public courtyard with a clock tower links the two-story jail and sheriff's quarters to the annex. With city hall to the west, the business of government remains in the heart of the city.