On March 1, 1890, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors hired architect J.M. Creighton to design a second county courthouse that would represent their belief in future prosperity of the county through mining and agriculture. The following February, the courthouse was completed. Built in American-Victorian architecture and totaling 15,000 square feet the building housed the offices of the Board of Supervisors, the Recorder, the Treasurer, and the Assessor. The Sheriff’s Office and jail occupied the back end of the first floor. The clock tower was constructed, but there was not enough money to finance the installation of working clocks. So, clock facings were added, with the time set at 11:44.
A new county structure was built in 1961 and many of the county offices moved into it. Later abandoned, the 1891 courthouse fell into disrepair. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the structure is desperate need of stabilization and repair. The roof leaks to the point of needing a water collection system on the second floor. Water damage is destroying the masonry, and millions of dollars will be necessary to bring the courthouse back to its former glory. However, the county does not have near the amount of money necessary to perform the work.
[For more information, contact Ernie Feliz, grants coordinator, Pinal County, at 520-866-6409 or e-mail.]
September 2007 Update:
- “Old courthouse on list of endangered historical properties,” Florence Reminder, September 6, 2007