Old Courthouse Renovation

the arrowhead logo of the National Park Service on the left and the logo including the Arch shape of Gateway Arch Park Foundation on the right
The National Park Service is working together with park partner Gateway Arch Park Foundation to renovate the historic Old Courthouse. This is the final part of the $380 million CityArchRiver project – the largest public-private partnership in the history of the National Park Service.

a courtroom without any furniture inside

The Old Courthouse is currently closed for renovations. Keep this page bookmarked for news and updates on the construction as this historic building undergoes significant upgrades.

Renovations include:

  • The installation of an elevator for greater accessibility within the building, in conjunction with accessible ramps that were previously installed at both entrances during phase one of the CityArchRiver Old Courthouse renovations.
  • Critical building system updates, which will help revitalize and maintain the building’s integrity. This includes a new heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system
  • A new fire suppression system
  • General restoration and improvements to the building’s historically significant features such as windows, doors, ceilings, flooring and other decorative elements.  

Future Old Courthouse visitors will enjoy new exhibit galleries designed by Haley Sharpe Design in conjunction with Gateway Arch National Park staff. Exhibits will include:   

  • Northeast Gallery: Dred and Harriet Scott – Focuses on the Scotts’ fight for freedom, which began in the Old Courthouse, and how the legal and political environment at the time culminated in the infamous U.S. Supreme Court Decision. The exhibit gallery also reflects on the legacy and relevancy of their case today.   

  • Northwest Gallery: Pathways to Freedom – Explores African American life in St. Louis: slavery, the tortured legacy of enslaved individuals seeking freedom, post-Civil War civil rights and more.  

  • Southeast Gallery: Designed for Justice – Highlights the architectural features of the courthouse and the spirit of innovation of architects, artists, builders and craftsmen.  

  • Southwest Gallery: See You in Court – Focuses on the importance of courts in our society, our legal structure, and the daily activities in the courthouse from 1839 to 1930.  Visitors will be able to experience an 1850s courtroom and re-enact mock trials that will further their understanding of how our court system allows us to settle disputes peacefully and provide a framework for how our society functions.

We are currently eyeing a spring or summer 2025 reopening. Plans for a grand re-opening ceremony will be shared here as they become available.


News about the Old Courthouse

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    Last updated: November 18, 2023

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    11 North 4th Street
    St. Louis, MO 63102


    314 655-1600

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