Monsey Memories: The Rockland County Court House in New City

Monsey Memories: The Rockland County Court House in New City

Yitzy Fried

The Rockland County Courthouse and Dutch Gardens is a historic county courthouse, public garden, and national historic district located at New City in Rockland County, New York.

The courthouse building was built in 1928 and is a three-story, symmetrical building built of Indiana limestone in a transitional Beaux-Arts /Art Deco style. The interior features a large three-story lobby that extends across the front of the building to the two flanking pavilions.

Today, we examine the origins of the edifice that has served as the home of the courthouse for close to one century.

In a newspaper of the time, we read:

“Supervisors vote for new courthouse, cost $800,000. Plans submitted by Dennison & Hirrons Selected. Courthouse, or ornamental design to have frontage of 170 feet and depth of 80 feet.

“The supervisors of Rockland County, Tuesday, voted to erect a new court house at New City at a cost not to exceed $800,000 and adopted the plans of Dennison & Hirrons, architects of New York City, selected by the Jury.

“According to its provisions, the new courthouse will have a frontage of 170 feet and a depth of 80 feet, with the jail structure large enough to accommodate 75 prisoners, still further to the rear, and connected to the building by an underground passage. Only two full stories are to be above ground at the front of the new building, but because the site slopes sharply away to the rear, fully three stories will be clear at the back of the structure.

The building was indeed erected in 1928 and has continued to serve as a central courthouse ever since. In 1988, we find the following item related to the magnificent interior of the building.  

“Lawmakers look for ways to save New City Courthouse ceiling. A leaky roof is a nuisance at any house, but when it’s on a 60-year-old art deco courthouse, the problem becomes a judicial nightmare. County officials say the crumbling roof of the Rockland County Courthouse in New City disrupts state Supreme Court proceedings and damages the ornate, handmade details of the courthouse rotunda.

“A $234,000 repair project being prepared by the county construction office is expected to stop the leaks, but lawmakers are trying to figure out a way of rescuing the ceiling’s 1928 artwork.

In the interim years, the magnificent edifice has made it onto the National Register of Historic Places as a landmark, being preserved as a relic of a bygone era in Rockland County.

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