Michigan may be known for its auto industry, falls, and cherries, but it is also known for its historic courthouse. Famously known as the Lapeer County Courthouse, it is a county courthouse listed on the National Register of Historic Places. And guess what? We emphasize its historicism as it is the first property of Lapeer County to have made it to the list. So, let’s delve deeper to learn more about this historic estate.

Its Origin

The Lapeer County Courthouse was built between 1845 and 1846; however, the county acquired it in 1853. But now, here’s the catch! When you see the pediment of the building, you’ll see that the year of its construction is stated as 1839. But now we know when it was actually erected.

This famous courthouse was built by Alvin N. Hart. He was also known to be the first habitant of Lapeer. Hart was born in 1804 in Connecticut and arrived in Michigan after 27 years, that’s in 1831. Soon, he settled in the area and worked as a sheriff, becoming a member of both houses.

Design And Structure

Design And Structure

The two-story Lapeer County Courthouse is inspired by Greek designs. Thus, when you look at the building, you’ll immediately be taken to the Greek revival era. It has typical Greek architecture with a rectangular design made of wood, particularly local white pine, and held up with the help of a brick foundation.

Right at the entrance of the building, you’ll see a touch of Greek design with four Doric columns erected to give a royal look while also underpinning the pediment. You’ll also witness a three-story tower built at the back of the building to give a classic historical touch to the building.

What’s Inside The Courthouse?

Once you step inside the courthouse, you’ll first see administrative offices on the ground floor. Climbing up the second floor is a circuit courtroom and a jury room. Exploring around, you’ll witness historical displays as well as multiple furnishings of that era. To visit the probate court, police station, courtrooms, and other offices, head to the new complex at 255 Clay Street, right behind the courthouse.

Cultural Hub: Community Gathering Place

Why Is It So Famous and What Is It Used For Today?

The Lapeer County Courthouse is extremely famous due to its unique Doric-style architecture, which allows you to time travel to the period when it was made. It is also the oldest courthouse in Michigan and has been assigned as a Michigan State Historic Site. Currently, the entire property is owned and operated by the Lapeer County Historical Society, which allows guests to take a tour of the place or rent it out for special occasions.

The place has now become a gathering place for the general public. You can book the place for weddings and other special events. Since it’s a historic property, you would want to make reservations two weeks prior to prevent any last-minute hassle. A registration form along with a Waiver Liability form has to be signed. The usual rent for using the space is $100/hr.


The Lapeer County Courthouse stands tall even today in Michigan due to its unique architecture. The state has made every effort to keep the building as real as possible by making only needed renovations, so when you visit the place, you’ll still be able to relate to its historical significance.