Multnomah County is named for the Native American village of Multnomah on Sauvie Island and the word “nematlnomaq” means “down river”.
Created: December 22, 1854
Portland 1854 – present
County Courthouse – Portland
Location: 1021 SW Fourth Avenue / SW Main Street
Built: 1909 – 1914
Style: Neo-Classical Revival
Architect: William H Whidden and Ion Lewis
Contractor: United Engineering & Construction Company
Description: The building faces east and is an eight story riveted structural steel, granite and concrete structure. The building is located along the west side of Lownsdale Park in the city center. The building was constructed in two stages from 1909 to 1911 for construction of the east wing and from 1911 to 1914 for construction of the remainder of the building. The building is constructed of concrete-encased steel, with concrete slab floors and walls of terra-cotta brick, covered with plaster. The square shaped building has a center courtyard and the building covers the entire block. Along each side are columns. The roof line is flat. The interior of the building has four two-story courtrooms which feature most of the courthouse’s original design; some two-story courtrooms were split horizontally during the 1950s, expanding capacity and resulting in new floors.
Note: The first courthouse was built in 1866 with additions in the 1880s. The courthouse was replaced by the current courthouse and, which was completed in 1914. Originally, the building had a central courtyard and over time, this courtyard was filled in to make room for more offices and a jury room.
See: National Register of Historic Places – Multnomah County Courthouse
County Justice Center – Portland
Location: 1130 SW Third Avenue / SW Main Street
Built: 1981 – 1983
Architect: Zimmer Gusnsul Frasco Architects
Contractor: Turner Construction Company ( construction manager ) and Hoffman Construction Company
Description: The building faces west and is a eighteen story concrete and glass structure. The building faces west and was completed in 1983. The building faces west onto Lownsdale Park. The lower two stories extend to the street and the upper part of the building is recessed and forms a triangle. There is a concave glass section in the center of the west front. There is a skylighted lobby on the first story.
County Central Courthouse – Portland
Location: Madison Street / 1st Avenue
Built: 2017 – 2020
Architect: SPG Partnership
Contractor: Hoffman Construction
Description: The building faces west and is a seventeen story steel, concrete and glass structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds to the east of the courthouse in the city center. The building will be completed in 2020.
Built in 2017 the modern building is a seventeen story steel, concrete and glass structure. The building faces west and was completed in 2020.
Note: The cost of construction is $324,500,000.
Other Branch Courthouses
Gresham ( East County Courthouse )
S – Clackamas County
County Justice Center
Photos taken 2012 and 2016