National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name United States Courthouse and Custom House
Reference Number 13000501
State Ohio
County Lucas
Town Toledo
Street Address 1716 Spielbusch Avenue
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 7/17/2013
Areas of Significance ARCHITECTURE
Link to full file
The 1932 United States Courthouse and Custom House, Toledo is a well-executed authoritative example of the Neoclassical Revival style in its massing, exterior detailing, and internal planning, while its rich interior displays custom features reflecting classical vocabulary. The large, imposing structure was built to accommodate overcrowded federal agencies previously housed in a variety of buildings scattered throughout downtown Toledo. Situated at the northern end of the Toledo Civic Center Mall and built of high-quality materials, the building dominates an important view corridor along Spielbusch Avenue from the north and also anchors the Mall itself. Using the tenets of the City Beautiful movement, the Toledo building was designed to be the centerpiece of the expansive lawns of the Toledo Mall. The courthouse's somber presence and monumentality still confer a calm sense of dignity and order to the mall, the civic center and downtown, as the proponents of the movement intended. It shows its allegiance to Neoclasscal Revival in its distribution of conventional exterior ornament neither lavish nor paltry. In contrast, its exuberant interior, richly detailed with ornate detailing rendered in brass, gold leaf, and pink marble, indicates a financial investment rarely seen in Midwestern federal buildings executed during the Great Depression.


Weekly List Search Page

Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria