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P.O. Box 1989
West Palm Beach, FL 33402-1989
(561) 355-2754
FAX: (561) 355-3819
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Palm Beach County
Board of County

Mary Lou Berger

Hal R. Valeche
Vice Mayor

Paulette Burdick

Shelley Vana

Steven L. Abrams

Melissa McKinlay

Priscilla A. Taylor

County Administrator

Verdenia C. Baker

"An equal opportunity
Affirmative Action Employer"

Electronic Press Release


Court House Restoration Update—July 2004


Demolition Exposes Layers of History

Demolition with some facade
With the removal of the façade, the three phases of construction history became clearly visible: the historic courthouse (left), the addition (center) and the annex (right).

Shortly after County Commissioners knocked the first bricks from the east wall of the wraparound on January 22, 2004, crews started the demolition project. As the layers of construction were removed, the Old Court House started to appear. The removal of materials provides a fascinating glimpse of the building’s history.

1916 Original Walls
As materials were removed, workers labeled surfaces with the years they were constructed to ensure that the 1916 walls were kept intact. By writing “clean” on the 1916 walls, workers knew that these surfaces were to be protected and anything attached to them should be removed.
Main Entrance Demolition
The main entrance to the Court House will be on the west side of the building.


Workers began by removing the 1970 wraparound which was a brick façade encasing the entire structure. Behind this exterior was the original 1916 Court House, the 1927 annex and the 1955 addition. The annex, a rectangular structure that was the same size as the original building, was built 25 feet east of the old courthouse in an attempt to accommodate the growing needs of county residents. Over the next 20 years or so, County government continued to grow, and the four-story addition was constructed joining the two buildings together creating even more office space. The façade almost doubled the capacity of the original Court House, and County business was conducted in this structure until the new courthouse was built across the street in 1995.