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Montrose County

Montrose County is named for the town of Montrose, which was named from the novel A Legend of Montrose published by Walter Scott in 1819.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Mesa County and Delta County

E – Gunnison County

S – Gunnison CountyOuray County and San Miguel County

W – San Juan County, Utah


Created:  February 11, 1883                  Map of Colorado highlighting Montrose County

County Seat:

Montrose  1883 – present


County Courthouse – Montrose


Location:  387 South 1st Street / South Townsend Avenue

Built:  1922 – 1923

Style:  Classical Revival

Architect:  William Norman Bowman of Denver

Contractor:  White & Okey General Contractors of Montrose


Description: The building faces north and is a three story gray colored limestone, brick and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Montrose. The building has a raised basement and at the top is an attic with jury rooms. The north front has a slightly projecting center section with four columns rising to a header above the second story. The red colored tile roof is hipped. In the interior is the foyer on the first storyr with its wainscoting, Doric columns and pilasters of marble. The vaulted ceiling area serves as a memorial hall and a bronze tablet with names of World War I veterans is attached to the west wall. Segmentally arched entryways lead into a large spacious hall where a circular opening in the ceiling and in the ceiling of the second story provides a view of the two upper stories. A metal balustrade of geometric designs surrounds these circular openings and outlines the massive staircases between stories. Other original interior features remain including the wood trim and chair rail, the plaster cornice and the marble baseboards. The Commissioners’ Chamber is located on the first story and the courtrooms are located on the third story.  The architect was William Norman Bowman of Denver and the contractor was White & Okey General Contractors of Montrose. On the south side is the County Administration Building and on the west side is the two story limestone Old County Jail built in 1936.


Note:  The stone was mined in a quarry west of Montrose, some five miles, the brick was made in the Allen Brick Plant adjoining the city. All of the lumber that can possibly be used is milled out of timber grown in Montrose County. The sand and gravel was taken from the river bottom close to Montrose. White and Okey had the general contract for $134,134.00; Price and O’Neill the plumbing and heating for $15,969; Lis & Hosner, the wiring for $1,560 and Johnson Service had the contract for heating for $1,835.


Note:  On January 22, 1923, stonemason Charles Cuthbert was installing a fifty pound piece of terra cotta on the cornice above the main entry when he slipped and fell 35 feet to the frozen ground. He struck the ground face first, approximately fifteen feet out from the building. The piece of terra cotta shattered on impact and was scattered out into the street. Mr. Cuthbert sustained a minor concussion and a bruised cheekbone


See:  The architect, William Norman  Bowman of Denver, Colorado, designed courthouses in Colorado in Jackson County, Moffat County and Weld County and in Nebraska in Scotts Bluff County.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Montrose County Courthouse


County Courts Building – Montrose



Location:  1200 North Grand Avenue / North Townsend Avenue

Built:  1996 – 1998

Style:  Modern

Architect:  C W Fentress J H Bradburn & Associates

Contractor:  H W Houston Construction Company


Description: The building faces west and is a three story stone, concrete and glass structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds to the north of the center of Montrose. The northwest corner has a circular open tower with recessed entrance. Behind the entrance, the building rises to a hipped roof. Along the first story is a covered walkway with are stone pillars. The third story is recessed. The roof line is flat. The building houses the District Court and County Court of the 7th Judicial District. The complex has several buildings. 


See:   The 7th Judicial District includes Delta CountyGunnison CountyHinsdale County, Ouray County and San Miguel County.


History:  The county was created in 1883 and Montrose was selected as the county seat. The first courthouse was an adobe building, purchased in 1885 which had been the town skating rink. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 1922 to 1923 at a cost of $163,993 and the final cost was $225,000. The County Courts Building was constructed in 1996 to 1998 at a cost of $30,782,088.


County Administration Building – Montrose



Location:  317 South 2nd Street / South Townsend Avenue

Built:  1967 – 1968

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Richard G Copley

Contractor:  Phipps Construction Inc.


Description: The building faces south and is a three story orange-red colored brick and concrete structure. The building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Montrose on the south side of the courthouse. The building was originally constructed as the County Jail and was converted into offices. 


County Courthouse Annex –  Nucla  



Location:  300 Main Street / West 3rd Avenue

Built:  1978 – 1979

Style: Modern

Architect:  Van Dusen Architects of Grand Junction

Contractor:  Unknown


Description: The building faces east and is a two story dark red colored brick, concrete and glass structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on landscaped grounds in the center of Nucla. The east front has a central glass doorway with a glass window on either side. The south section rises higher than the north section. The roof is sloped. The courtroom is located on the second story.



County Courthouse – Montrose

















Old County Jail – Montrose





County Administration Building – Montrose





County Courts Building – Montrose





















County Courthouse Annex – Nucla









Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park







Photos taken 2002 and 2011