Here now, Past Lives, in which Curbed contributor Chris Berger explores what some of the country's most interesting residential buildings used to be before they became livable homes. Care to suggest a building with a fascinating past life? Do drop us a line.
For 94 years, justice was served in the third-floor courtroom of the DuPage County Courthouse. Now, it’s set to become someone’s living room. The six-story former courthouse, which is now the centerpiece of the Courthouse Square development in downtown Wheaton, Illinois, was divided into six condominium units. Built in 1896, the Romanesque-style building served generations of DuPage County residents until the last gavel banged in 1990. National-Louis University used the site for classes until Focus Development bought the property in 2004 and had the six-story structure rehabilitated into luxury homes.
? The residences, which range in size from 3,600 to 4,700 square feet, cater to modern tastes with their granite counters, Sub-Zero fridges, and dark wood finishes. But some of the old courthouse’s most defining historical characteristics remain.
? The lobby and grand staircase have been restored, including the marble panels, cast-iron railings, and terrazzo floors.
? Outside, much attention was paid to the intricately carved terracotta and masonry along the walls, arches, and dormers.
? And, thanks to Back to the Future, no old hall of justice is considered complete without a clock. Columned turrets flank the repaired timepiece on Courthouse Square’s clock tower, which is capped by a spire. Residents of the aptly named The Clocktower are afforded access, via a spiral staircase, to an observation deck within the distinct feature.
? Courthouse Square dwellings are not cheap. Of the three on the market, The Courtroom is available for $1,099,900, The Clocktower for $1,349,900, and The Chambers is priced at $989,900—and all three have been reduced in price.
· Courthouse Square [official site]
· History of DuPage County’s Courthouses [DuPage County Bar Association]
· In with the old: Homeowners, builders recycle the past with architectural salvage [Chicago Tribune]
· All Past Lives posts [Curbed National]