The Court House Block
1104-06 Ford Street
This is one of two known photographs of Jefferson County’s 4th home, the closeup photo not presently being available to the public. This photo originally comes from the Rizzari Collection. The Court House Block, as it was known, stands in this block of storefront buildings as the third from the right, all on the west side of the 1100 block of Ford Street. This building was built by a private owner in 1871 as a double-storefront commercial building, and he offered its upper floor for the use of the County, hence the name the building would take. Its design consisted of a double plate glass storefront with upper floor of Italianate stone arched windows.
The Court House Block continued as the County’s home until it could finally afford to build a home of its own. Afterwards the building continued in commercial use and was joined by several other storefronts on its block, but the Ford Street commercial district never recovered after the Silver Crash of 1893. This part of downtown including lower Ford and 11th Streets degenerated into a ghetto and Golden’s red light district through the early 20th Century, until urban renewal came with the construction of Central (later Mitchell) school, putting Jeffco’s 4th home out of its misery in 1936.
by Richard Gardner – Gardner History & Preservation