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Okeechobee County

Okeechobee County is named for Okeechobee Lake, the largest lake in Florida, and the name comes from the Hitchiti words “oki” meaning “water” and “chubi” meaning “big”.

 

Surrounding County Courthouses: 

 Osceola County and Indian River County

E – Indian River CountySt. Lucie County and Martin County

S – Martin County

W – Glades County and Highlands County

 

Created:  April 24, 1913                          Map of Florida highlighting Okeechobee County

County Seat:

Okeechobee  May 8, 1917 – present

 

County Judicial Center – Okeechobee 

 

Location:  312 NW 3rd Avenue / NW 3rd Street

Built:  2004 – 2005

Style:  Modern

Architect:  Michael A Shiff & Associates

Contractor:  David Brooks Enterprises Inc.

 

Description:  The building faces south and is a three story concrete and glass structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of Okeechobee to the north of the old courthouse. The building has a large enclosed portico on the south front with glass walls and red colored roof. The main part of the building has a pink colored façade with rounded corners and rounded glass bay windows. The roof line is flat. The building is named as the Okeechobee County Judicial Center. The building houses the Circuit Court of the 19th Judicial Circuit and County Court. 

 

County Courthouse – Okeechobee 

 

 

Location:  304 NW 2nd Street / NW 3rd Avenue

Built:  1926 – 1927

Style:  Spanish and Mediterranean Revival

Architect:  George Gaynor Hyde of Miami

Contractor:  Roger and Duncanson

 

Description: The building faces south and is a two story white colored concrete structure. The building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of Okeechobee to the south of the courthouse. The center section projects from the main building and has a large open arch with a double set of stairs inside. The hipped roof has red colored tiles. The courtroom is located in the center of the second story. The building was renovated in 2009 to 2010. The architect was Rowe Architects Incorporated and the contractor was Dooley Mack Constructors.

 

Note:  Due to the collapse of the Florida Land Boom during the construction of the courthouse, the central dome was never built. After the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane, the hallways were used as a temporary morgue. What was planned and built as an open breezeway in the middle of the first floor was later enclosed, but the winding stairways to the second floor courtroom still remains.

 

See:  The 19th Judicial Circuit includes Indian River CountyMartin County and St. Lucie County.

 

See:  The county is located in the Fourth Judicial District of the Court of Appeal – Fourth Judicial District located in West Palm Beach.

 

History:  The county was created in 1917 and Okeechobee was selected as the county seat. The county used rented premisis. The first courthouse was constructed in 1926 to 1927 at a cost of $200,000. The second and present courthouse was constructed in 2004 to 2007.

 

 

County Judicial Center – Okeechobee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County Circuit Court courtroom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

County Courthouse – Okeechobee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commissioners Meeting Room ( courtroom )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos taken 2009, 2018 and 2023