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401 Grand St. Paterson, NJ 07505 | (973) 881-4000
"Rich History, Bright Future"

Passaic County Court House and the Court House Annex Named to National Register of Historic Places

PATERSON – The New Jersey State Department of Environmental Protection, Natural & Historic Resources, Historic Preservation Office announced the Passaic County Court House and the Court House Annex, built as the US Customs House and Post Office, have been entered into both the National Register of Historic Places and the New Jersey Register of Historic Places.

"Obtaining the registration is another achievement in further safeguarding the county's cultural legacy," said Freeholder Director Hector C. Lora. "Both listings will help protect these superb buildings, as well as place the county in a better position to apply for federal and state preservation grants."

The Passaic County Court House at 73-87 Hamilton Street and the United States Customs House and Post Office (Court House Annex) at 63-65 Hamilton Street, both in Paterson, NJ, are now protected by the review process codified in stabled by the New Jersey Register of Historic Places Act (N.J.A.C. 7:4).

"Understanding and appreciating the history of our imposing Passaic Vicinage Courthouse fortifies our commitment to a reliable, independent and fair judiciary," stated Passaic County Assignment Judge Ernest Caposela.

The Passaic County Courthouse was constructed during the heyday of what is termed the American Renaissance in public architecture. This landmark structure, along with the nearby Courthouse Annex, is indelibly linked with the storied history of Paterson and Passaic County.

Last May, the county freeholders celebrated the reopening of the courthouse's historic front entrance, and the refurbishment of the building's magnificent stained glass inner dome. The entrance had been closed to public access for the better part of three decades.

According to Passaic County Historian Edward A. Smyk: “In 1895 the Freeholders determined that a new courthouse was needed for consolidating in one building all departments and the judiciary. Planning for the courthouse commenced in December of that year with the appointment of a specially constituted courthouse commission. Samuel Burrage Reed, the chosen architect, aimed at judicial dignity in developing his lofty design by cladding the exterior in Indiana limestone, and finishing off the interior spaces with marble. This in a nutshell was a building meant to impress and endure. Few would quibble over its classic beauty. The soaring courthouse exterior dome is reminiscent of a smaller, yet exquisite and timeless structure, the Tempietto of San Pietro in Montorio, built in Rome in 1502 by Donato Brumante, renowned Italian Renaissance architect.”

The New Jersey Register of Historic Places is the official list of New Jersey properties worthy of preservation. The National Register of Historic Places is the country's official list of properties and resources deemed significant to U.S. history, architecture, archaeology, engineering and culture.