End of an Era: Kalamazoo’s 1937 Courthouse Is Closing
It's taken a little extra time, but Kalamazoo County is expected to fully open its new Courthouse on Kalamazoo Avenue soon. But as one door opens to a new facility, one door closes at another.
As a result, the long-standing Courthouse on Michigan Avenue will soon close its doors for good, and move all operations to the new, state-of-the-art building.
Built in 1937, the Michigan Avenue Courthouse has served Kalamazoo County for nearly 90 years. It's housed the offices for all prosecutors, county clerks, registry of deeds, and the jail on the fifth floor. But as operations of the county got bigger, the building became too small.
The jail was moved to Lamont Ave. in the 1970s, and county offices were moved to a separate county building at 201 W. Kalamazoo Ave.
The Prosecutor's office was moved to the fifth floor, where the jail used to be, but even now, quarters were getting cramped.
Construction began on the new, Kalamazoo Ave. facility in 2021, and after a few delays, is set to officially open its doors this month. MLive talked with Kalamazoo County Public Information Officer Taylor Koopman.
"As we celebrate the opening of the Judge Charles A. Pratt Justice Center, we are not just inaugurating a new building, but embracing a symbol of progress and accessibility in our legal system."
The last day for the MAC (Michigan Avenue Courthouse) to be open to the public is Monday, Dec. 4th, while some previously scheduled cases, and appointments will still continue to be held there.
The courthouse at 150 E. Crosstown Parkway closed on Nov. 30th, while the courthouse on Gull Road will remain open and fully operational. The Gull Road Justice Complex is not moving.
What Happens to the Michigan Avenue Courthouse?
A company named PlazaCorp now owns the Courthouse, or will fully once operations are completely finished within its walls. At the moment, nobody has mentioned any specific plans for what will happen to the building, and says they aren't ready to talk about what plans are moving forward.
Plazacorp bought the building for $1.85 million in 2018 once the county decided to build the new courthouse.