Bernalillo County Courthouse, Albuquerque, NM (History)

Bernalillo County was established on 8 January 1852. It was one of the seven Partidos, established during Mexican rule. It may have been named for the Gonzales-Bernal family that lived in the area before 1692. The county seat is in Albuquerque.
The first courthouse in Albuquerque was built in 1886 at the cost of $62,053.81. It was constructed of gray stone with a peaked shingled roof exterior tower reaching three stories high. The courthouse stood at the current San Felipe Elementary School site in Old Town. Once the demand for another school surfaced, the courthouse was relocated to New Town (present-day downtown area). This “new” courthouse was built in 1926 with bricks imported from Colorado. Built in the center of its own park, the symmetrical design gave the building a Grecian temple of justice effect. In 1964, the courthouse was remodeled and expanded. Its outer surface was also refinished with sheets of marble. Finally, a more modern courthouse was built and completed in 2001, leaving the older building empty.


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