The city of Decatur has been county seat of DeKalb since its beginning, and a series of courthouses on the historic square over the years have reflected architectural styles throughout its history. The first struc-ture was a log cabin built in 1823. It was followed by two wooden frame buildings, both of which burned, one in 1842 and another in 1898.
In 1916 builders completed what is now called Old DeKalb County Courthouse. Now a landmark and home of the DeKalb History Center, this classical revival building still represents turn of the twentieth cen-tury elegance. The Old Courthouse served the county for about half a century, during two world wars and the civil rights movement through the mid 60s.
In 1967 DeKalb County built its current courthouse, a functional office tower in the modern style and situated on the southwestern corner of Decatur Square. Pictured above, it literally towers over low-rise buildings about the square, including the adjacent MARTA station. In 1997, in order to accommodate planned growth, DeKalb approved funds for an extension to the busy Courthouse tower, and in 2001 the county awarded a contract for a seven-story addition on the back of the building.
Dr. Paul Hudson, historian at Georgia Perimeter College, writes stories for the Decatur Dispatch.