ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)— It rose up on land that had once been the city's common fields and it began as a much smaller structure in 1826.
But, the city was growing so rapidly that by the late 1830's a new building was built and that's the one we call the old courthouse.
"I find the old courthouse really interesting because in the midst of the conversations that go on about the merger of city and county, when you look at the old courthouse the other thing it symbolizes is when the city and county were merged because the old courthouse also held the offices of St. Louis County." said Dr. Robert Archibald
It was also the site of slave auctions. It was also the site of the famous slavery trial known as the Dred Scott case.
The local jewel it hasn't always shined soot discolored it for many years. It was even abandoned for a time starting in 1930. That was before the national parks service made it the headquarters for the Jefferson National Expansion memorial better known as the Arch.
Architect William Rumbold designed the dome at the old state hospital on Arsenal and the old courthouse. He based his design on St. Peters basilica in Vatican City.