Old Courthouse
Old Courthouse
4.5
Historic SitesPoints of Interest & LandmarksGovernment Buildings
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
About
Walk the halls where ordinary Americans made civil rights history. Built in 1839, the Old Courthouse is a prime example of mid-19th century federal architecture. But it is two landmark cases that secure its place in history. Beginning in 1847, the enslaved Dred Scott twice sued for his and his wife Harriet’s freedom. But, the U.S. Supreme Court decided against them, ruling that African-Americans were not citizens and had no right to sue. In 1873, St. Louis suffragette Virginia Minor and her husband filed a civil suit arguing for women’s right to vote. Although their suit was denied, they brought great attention to the fight for voting rights for all U.S. citizens.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Neighbourhood: Downtown
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,058 reviews
Excellent
553
Very good
407
Average
84
Poor
10
Terrible
4

LostInTime
Pittsburgh, PA20,247 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Business
This old courthouse is undergoing renovations now and I don’t think you can go in. It’s near the arch. It looks cool from the outside and is in a great spot.
Written 19 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TravelingSoccerLoon
Saint Paul, MN5,004 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Friends
Historically important building with beautiful architecture. Constructed between 1839 and 1862. One of the most famous trials to take place here was the original Dred Scott case during which the enslaved Dred Scott and his wife Harriet sued and won their freedom only for the decision to be eventually overturned by the US Supreme Court that declared that slaves are property and hold no rights to sue. This decision flamed the fires that brought on the Civil War. Easy to visit as it is located near the Gateway Arch and is part of the Gateway Arch National Park. It is easy to photograph from the grounds near the Arch. However, the Old Courthouse can only be experienced from the outside at this time as it undergoes renovations inside.
Written 6 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Raintree_Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand3,951 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
The Old Courthouse building is gleaming white and stunning in appearance. Unfortunately, visitors can't currently enter the building as it is under renovation.
Written 23 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gene H
Seymour, TN390 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023
This is a beautiful architectural gem right in downtown St. Louis, very close to the Gateway Arch and the Cardinals Home stadium. We were only able to walk around the outside as there is a major renovation in process. Going into the building is not available at this time until the renovation is complete. Check with the website as I do believe it will only be open in 2024.
Enjoy, Gene H.
Written 22 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Irina
United States13,253 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2022
The Old Courthouse is considered to be one of the oldest historic buildings in downtown St. Louis.

The building of the Old Courthouse had gone through initial design and construction (circa 1816), redesigning and expansion (1839), had a new cast iron dome replacing the cupola (1861-1864), became a part of the Gateway Arch National Park (1940), and had several subsequent repairs and renovations during the following decades.

The historic significance of the Old Courthouse in St. Louis originates from a very memorable historic process: in 1846 an American named Dred Scott, who was born into slavery in Virginia, sued for his freedom, for his rights as a human being, in effect raising the underlying questions of what defines humanity with respect to race, and what constitutes natural American citizenship. The Old Courthouse in St. Louis became the scene of trials, the historic case of Dred Scott reached the Missouri Supreme Court and the US Supreme Court, thus laying the grounds for the future civil rights movement. The American Civil War (1861-1865) eventually ended in the abolition of slavery in 1865.

During the time of our visit the Old Courthouse was closed to public, and from what I read now, it is still -- temporarily -- closed.
Written 20 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Linda S
Ypsilanti, MI22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
It is closed for renovation so when finished would be good place to visit. Nice parks around it. Took photos of the grounds
Written 9 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Grover R
Pensacola, FL21,780 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
Perfectly framed by the Arch is the old Nineteenth Century Courthouse that looks like a state Capitol. For all its architectural splendor, it is most famous for housing the Dredd Scott case which move the country towards Civil War. Currently the courthouse is closed for interior renovations. However, it in no way takes away from the beautiful exterior that can still be enjoyed with a visit. If you are at the Arch, make sure you take in this beautiful and historic building.
Written 6 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

fiamma11
Tysons Corner, VA5,617 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
Beautiful architecture, perfect for arch photographs. Now a part of the Gateway Arch National Park, it is operated by the National Park, but temporarily closed.
Written 4 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FLGIRL
The Villages, FL554 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
This is apart of the Gateway Arch, National Park, but is currently under renovation. It does make for a beautiful picture when standing in Kiener Plaza Park. Also this is a great place to start walking from then up Chestnut to 14th street and back down Market street to see all the different buildings downtown. The architecture of the different buildings is so worth the walk.
Written 11 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sridhar
Eden Prairie, MN385 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021
Great photo opportunity outside the Courthouse. You also get a fantastic view from the Top of the Gateway Arch. Can't miss it!
Written 3 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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