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Santa Cruz County Court House
Nogales, Arizona


Description: Santa Cruz County Court House
Address: 21 E. Court Street  intersection of Court and Morley, Nogales, Santa Cruz County, Arizona
Type: governmental: court house/jail
Original Client: Country Board of Supervisors
Date: 1902-1903 construction began November 17,1902
Condition: extant

Architect or Firm: Henry C. Trost
Associated Architect or Firm: Robert E. Rust (Trost & Rust)
Contractors: James Vandervort and H.W. Kelsey; January 1903 Roy and Titcomb
Dimensions and Orientation: two stories, faces west, 90 feet along Morley avenue
Architectural Style: Neo-Classical Revival

Foundation: stone
Wall Materials: rusticated tufa stone structure of a cruciform outline
Roofing Materials: flat with silver-colored dome
Other Materials Used:
Remodeling and Additions:

Present Owner: Santa Cruz County
Location of Drawings: None known to exist
Location of Documentary Photographs: Trost family, photographs of ground breaking

Bibliography: (1) Trost & Trost, Architects (El Paso: Trost & Trost, 1907), page 50, photograph of facade; wall materials given in caption
(2) Nogales Centennial Committee, Nogales, Arizona, 1880-1980. Centennial Anniversary (Nogales, 1980), pages 53-54, mentioned; page 52, illustration of courtroom and exterior
(3) Arizona Highways, volume 64, number 4, April 1988, color illustration inside front cover
(4) The Oasis (Arizola, Arizona) September 20, 1902 plans accepted
(5) The Tucson Citizen (Tucson, Arizona) August 28, 1902 page 5 proceed with plans

Remarks: The cornerstone states Commenced 1902 and gives the names of the architects. The cornerstone laid on Febrarury 16, 1903.

On August 21, 1902, the plans and specifications of Trost & Rust were accepted. However both construction bids were rejected and the ordered re-advertised. The original floor plans were probably designed without a site in mind, and after the site was selected, the plan was reversed to accommodate the half basement to the sloping side of the lot. The plans adopted provided a very handsome stone structure. From the center of the edifice will arise a lofty dome, surmounted by a colossal statue of Justice. The building will stand back from the street about twenty five feet, and will be approached by a broad semi-circular walk, each end resting upon the street and short flight of stone steps. Projecting form the center of the building in front is a broad portico supported by a lofty collonade of four artistic columns, passing which the main entrance is reached. The grand rotunda is thirty feet in diameter, this extends upwards to the dome and from which radiate the three wings of the building. To the right of the rotunda is a flight of stairs that lead to the office of the probate judge and the sheriff. The floors of which are let 7 feet below the surface to provide a lofty ceiling for the courtroom. which is immediately over head and fills up the upper part of the wing. From the floor of the rotunda a corridor opens into the left wing of the building where officers of county treasurer, recorder and supervisors . Center of the rotunda is a short broad stairways that goes to the platform which is a large door to the courtroom (40×30) feet. The ceilings are 20 feet high. Stairways lead down to the jail in the rear of the building and an upper floor of the other wing of the building is the chamber of judges, clerk’s office and jury rooms. These stairways are used directly for prisoners. In the rear projection of the building is the jail, the entrance to the sheriff’s office only. The space is big enough for two tiers of cells , six in each tier. The Pauly Jail Company is to furnish four cells for $4,721.

Charles E. Perkins was given the job of construction supervisor by Trost and Rust to act as their agent in Nogales. Perkins served only a short time though, due to illness, and by February has been replaces by Charles Spraker.


Prepared for the El Paso Public Library by Lloyd C. and June F. Engelbrecht under a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, 1990.