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Norwich Courthouse           

Norwich Courthouse
Copyright 1907
Norwich Courthouse
Postmarked 1909

Norwich Courthouse
Postmarked 1907

Copyright 1909
Norwich Courthouse - 1911
Postmarked 1911

Norwich Courthouse
Copyright 1915
Old Norwich Courthouse - 1911
Copyright 1911

Norwich Courthouse
Copyright 1920s

In 1869, the Connecticut General Assembly passed an act giving the town of Norwich and the county of New London power to combine to erect a building for town, city and county purposes. This building would include a courthouse and would be financed by the town of Norwich and New London County. After almost three years of construction, a portion of the building was opened in 1873 when the first session of the Superior Court was held on November 11th.

The building stood at the junction of Broadway and Union Streets, facing Otis Square. Architects for the three-story French-style building were Burdich & Arnold. The basement story, which housed the police department, police court and jail for many years, was constructed of granite while the other stories were built of pressed brick with granite trimmings.

Norwich Courthouse
Copyright 1930
Aerial view of Norwich, Connecticut
Published 1909, official souvenir postcard of the 250th Founding of the Town

The tower rose 29 feet from the roof while the main cornice was 58 feet from the ground. The tower and cornices were made of galvanized iron while the roof was covered with tin.

The tower contained a clock with illuminated dials, which were lit up at night and a 3,000-pound bell, which would chime at the appointed hour and also double as an alarm bell.

The Superior Court was on the second floor along with town hall offices, the library and sheriff's office. The Courtroom was in the front of the building and was 45 x 50 feet with ample adjoining anterooms. The interior of most rooms in the building was of yellow pine, chestnut and black walnut.

Because many public buildings and churches had been ravaged by fire in the past, this building was supplied with water closets on each floor and fireproof vaults.

At the time, a local newspaper wrote that the Norwich City Hall and Courthouse "would compare favorably with any public building in the country."

To celebrate its 250th Anniversary, the town of Norwich welcomed President William Howard Taft, who arrived by train from Beverly, Massachusetts on July 5th, 1909 and spoke on the Courthouse steps.

The total cost for the building was approximately $350,000.

Click on any picture
to see a larger version.

City of Norwich, Published 1910

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Norwich Court - postmarked 1939
Postmarked 1939


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