Springfield County Courthouse

One of the sections of the blog is a directory to places in Springfield. I add another one tonight, check out the Places in Springfield page for more. I was holding out for an exterior shot, but I’ll add it when I find it.

Springfield County Courthouse – While it never shows an sign of actually being the Springfield, Illinois that is the capitol of that state, Springfield is very clearly the county seat with an impressive courthouse. The following description is based on what was seen on screen from the early 1990s on. I must admit while I know they showed courtrooms anyway earlier than that (during Roger’s Trial for martial rape for example) I don’t have a clear memory and haven’t seen many clips that show it. I will continue to look and will add to this description if I get more information.

The Springfield Courthouse is a large sprawling complex. They have all sorts of offices and we’ve seen at least two courtrooms. There are judges chambers and rooms full of law books. There is a large lobby outside the main courtroom. It looks like an art deco building inside and out, so it probably dates from the 1930s or at the latest 1940s. It possibly was merely redone at that time, but murals fill the courtroom and lobby area that are definitely WPA Regionalist in nature (which was very common in real life in the Midwest at the time).

The Criminal Courtrooms are on the Third Floor. Most people enter through an elevator in the large lobby. A short flight of steps begins outside the elevator and presumably leads to fourth floor. Although most people just sort of hang around the bottom of this stairway people who have gone up them would not plausibly be headed for a courtroom balcony which we don’t see during this time or the courthouse tower. There is plenty of seating in this lobby for people waiting to go into the courtroom. Straight ahead are double doors and that leads you into the courtroom with an impressive Judge’s bench and jury on the right hand side, closest to the judge’s bench.

We’ve seen the DA’s office, under various administrations, Doris Wolfe’s Assistant DA’s office and Griffith’s judge’s chambers. All feature that 1920s office style with beautiful dark woodwork. Only the third floor offers lighter woodwork. The county jail and police station are also in this same building. Whether they are on other floors or in a separate attached building is unclear and either would be common in the Midwest. There should also be offices for things like paying car license and wedding license,etc., an assessor’s office and offices for the county supervisors, unless they are located in a separate administrative building we never see.  (Everybody runs for mayor or DA in Springfield, no body runs for Assessor or Supervisor.)

Third Floor – Main court room floor, Starts at elevator, goes slowly through courtroom lobby and main courtroom at beginning of 1997 clip
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osr_fI7YyNM

Shot from behind the judge’s bench back across courtroom at 8:00 in 1999
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFyn2dTx3ws

Shot of Jury box  in 1999 at 7:30
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGLiEIaskZk

D.A.’s Office at beginning of 1998 clip
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWHfwWFT0RI

Judges Chambers in 1999 at 11:15
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgL971uAhO4

Jail in 1998
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiQw-3uT2hs

Lobby outside courtroom in 2000
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MbXU7ftaJ0

Courtroom in 2000
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfarjBPInUs

Slow sweep of courtroom in 2000
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_s9WTJgJIE

Probably best sweep of courthouse as it was in the 1990s/early 2000s at 4:45 during “I Turn to You” montage
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZoUiHERC0g

When the sets changed in 2008, the courtroom left the lawyer’s desks, judge’s bench, jury box, and witness box on one floor, but moved the audience to a balcony above.

Main floor of courtroom in 2009 (yes, lapsed long time viewers, Beth went to law school)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zVqODNApkA

When the Boys try to keep Remy from annulling his marriage to Christina he runs up to the audience balcony and jumps down to give an almost Danny level speech.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tL5BuL4kNLM

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One Response to “Springfield County Courthouse”

  1. glmanny Says:

    Reblogged this on Glmanny's Blog and commented:

    I’m not updating the post before I share it because it’s one I want to re-do, but I think it’s still useful enough as it is to reshare.

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