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Visual Evidence


Photo 1: The Old Courthouse

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(Photo: Jefferson National Expansion Memorial.)

At the time the courthouse was erected, it was the tallest and largest building in the city. Buildings such as the Old Courthouse were designed to impress upon people the seriousness of their rights to take part in the larger civic culture. Many such older public buildings today serve as civic monuments and reminders of our past. The Old Courthouse is now a museum where visitors can trace the growth of St. Louis from 1764 to the present.

1. What does the design and scale of the courthouse suggest about its importance to the citizens of St. Louis at the time?

2. Do you think housing a museum of St. Louis history is an appropriate use for the courthouse building today? Why or why not?

3. Why might older buildings no longer be able to serve the function for which they were intended?

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