This Renaissance style government building was constructed in 1908 and served as Essex County's seat of government for over six decades. Notable American architect Cass Gilbert, who designed many other structures in the country including the U.S. Supreme Court and the Woolworth Building in New York City, designed the courthouse. The building is five-stories tall and features a large central Tiffany stained-glass skylight dome and two smaller domes. The building also features paintings, murals, and sculptures created by noteworthy artists of the early 20th century. The former courthouse, which now serves as the home of the Essex County Bar Association, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
The courthouse originally housed all the county administration offices as well as other functions such as the Sherriff's office. In 1929, some of these offices moved to a new building which freed up space for additional courtrooms.