La Plata County is named for the many silver deposits in the area as “la plata” is Spanish for “the silver”.
Surrounding County Courthouses:
N – San Juan County
E – Hinsdale County and Archuleta County
S – San Juan County, New Mexico
W – Montezuma County
Created: February 10, 1874
Parrott City 1874 – 1881
Durango 1881 – present
County Courthouse – Durango
Location: 1060 East 2nd Avenue / East 10th Street
Built: 1958 – 1959
Architect: C Francis Pillsbury of Denver
Contractor: Tecnco Builders
Description: The building faces west and is a two story dark red colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Durango. The center section has a large square red colored brick clock tower with the original 1892 clock from the old courthouse. The building houses the District Court and County Court of the 6th Judicial District. In 1989 to 1990, the building was remodeled and an addition added. The architect was Caudill Gustafson Ross & Associates Architects PC of Aspen and the contractor was J M Constructors, Inc. of Durango. An addition was constructed in 1994. The architect was Sopris Architecture of Snowmass.
See: The architect, C Francis Pillsbury of Denver also designed the courthouse in Eagle County, Kiowa County, Montezuma County and Rio Blanco County.
See: The 6th Judicial District includes Archuleta County and San Juan County.
History: The county was created in 1874 and Howardsville was selected as the county seat. A one story log courthouse was erected by John Burrow as the first courthouse. San Juan County was created in 1876 leaving Howardsville within San Juan County and no longer the county seat for La Plata County. The county seat was moved to Parrot City and a log courthouse was erected as the second courthouse. In 1881, the county seat was moved to Durango. The third courthouse was designed by Silas Smith and built by M R Shields in 1891 to 1892. The courthouse was later razed in 1964. The fourth and present courthouse was constructed in 1958 to 1959.
County Courthouse - Durango
Picture 1892 County Courthouse
Photos taken 2011