Historic Martin County FL Court House

The Old Martin County Court House, also known as the Court House Cultural Center is one of the historic sites in Martin County Florida currently listed on the National Register. The building is located at 80 East Ocean Boulevard in downtown Stuart FL.

Historic Martin County CourthouseThe building was designed by West Palm Beach architect L. Phillips Clarke as an addition to the first Martin County courthouse, which had first been built in 1908 as a Palm Beach County public school building. That building was converted for courthouse use after Martin County was created in 1925. The historic addition was built by Chalker & Lund in 1937. The addition included a prominent marking designating it "Martin County Court House".

In 1954 Martin county bought the old Web Ordway Ford automobile dealership building and converted it into a courthouse annex. At around that same time, the county extended the original courthouse and the 1937 addition west to abut this new annex. Later when the county outgrew this assemblage of buildings, it decided to build a new courthouse and constitutional office complex to the south of the original courthouse. Plans to tear down the original courthouse including the 1937 addition met with resistance from the city of Stuart and members of the community. The 1937 building would be saved for its architectural significance, however the other buildings were demolished.

In 1989 the Old Martin County Court House was listed in "A Guide to Florida's Historic Architecture", published by the University of Florida Press. It was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 1997. On March 15, 2007, it was added to the Martin County Historic Register by the Martin County Historic Preservation Board.

Today the historic building is also known as the Courthouse Cultural Center and acts as the headquarters of the Arts Council, Inc., the designated local arts agency for Martin County.

Location of the Historic Martin County Court House

Search Articles & Events