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Old courthouse given to Kootenai County

Thu., May 28, 2009, 8:26 a.m.

The federal government has handed over ownership of an 80-year-old courthouse to Kootenai County.

Commissioner Rick Currie says the county’s current courthouse is cramped for space, and that some workers and departments will move into the new building in late August or early September.

The old courthouse, at Fourth Street and Lakeside Avenue, was transferred to the county for free, on the condition that it is preserved as a historic monument.

Coeur d’Alene has a new federal courthouse that opened in February on the city’s north side, just west of U.S. Highway 95 and north of Hanley Avenue.

The 1928 building had become outdated in terms of space, parking and security.

It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a downtown icon, Mayor Sandi Bloem said in February. She said she was disappointed when she heard three years ago that the federal courthouse would move.

The new building, however, fosters a “sense of respect,” she said in February. “Great cities are only as great as the spaces they give to the public realm.”

The new building offers 60,000 square feet spread over four levels.

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