County officers kept their records in their offices and homes scattered across Isanti County until 1871, when a small courthouse was built in Cambridge. Apparently not only inadequate but unsafe, the building was condemned and in 1887 the building pictured below was built.
The simple, two-story rectangular courthouse was built of wood by P.J. Lind at a cost of $6,993. Brick veneer and a porch were added several years later. The porch has since been removed, however. The prominent feature of the building, pictured below in 1972, is the projecting entrance pavilion, the roof of which forms a steeply pitched four-sided, flat-topped tower with a triangular dormer on each face. The tower and steeply hipped roof of the main building suggest the French Second Empire style. Paired windows are tall and narrow with stone sills, indicating an Italianate influence. The main roof is gray slate while the tower's is crimped tin.
Decorative elements include the brick belt between the two floors, which is repeated in a band beneath the eaves. Buff-colored stone frames the simple modernized doorway guarded by globed lamp posts on bases of brick.
In 1966, the basement was remodeled at a cost of $39,793 to provide a new jail, sheriff's office, and radio and teletype room.
The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
The Isanti County Courthouse as it looked in 1952.
Historical information adapted from "The First 100 Years... The Minnesota State Bar Association."
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