Berrien County is named for John M Berrien, who was the Attorney General of the United States.
Created: October 29, 1829
Niles 1831 – 1832
St. Joseph 1832 – 1837
Berrien Springs 1837 – 1894
St. Joseph 1894 – present
County Courthouse – St. Joseph
Location: 811 Port Street / Court Street
Built: 1964 – 1966
Architect: Shaw, Metz & Associates of Chicago, Illinois
Contractor: Pearson Construction Company of Benton Harbor
Description: The building faces south and is a five story concrete, stone and glass structure. The building has a central entrance framed with light stone. The windows are narrow and vertical with narrow vertical dividers. The top of the building is recessed and the roof line is flat.
Note: The previous courthouse was designed by Bell & Kent in 1896 at a cost of $104,007.42.
Old County Courthouse – Berrien Springs
Location: 313 North Cass Street / West Union Street
Built: 1638 – 1839
Style: Greek Revival
Architect: Gilbert Avery
Contractor: James Lewis
Description: The building faces northeast and is two story white wood and brick structure. The northeast front has a portico with four white colored columns rising to a pediment at the roof line. At the northeast end of the hipped roof is a square white colored wood cupola. The windows are vertical. The foundation is red colored brick. The building is surrounded by spacious grounds which contain the old Sheriff’s Residence constructed in 1870.
Note: The courthouse is the oldest courthouse in Michigan next to the courthouse in Lapeer County.
See: Michigan’s County Courthouses by John Fedynsky
N – Van Buren County
W – Lake Michigan
Photos taken 2008