Dakota County Historical Society
To preserve, interpret and promote the history of Dakota County.

Location: Vermillion and 3rd Streets

The Dakota County Courthouse, constructed from 1869 to 1871, remains one of the most dominant structures in downtown Hastings, even though an unsympathetic addition in 1955 damaged its original integrity. One of Minnesota’s first architects, A. M. Radcliff, designed the building in an Italian Villa style with four symmetrical facades of brick and stone.

Architect Radcliff established a St. Paul office in 1858 and practiced until his death in 1886. He designed many downtown St. Paul business blocks during his career, including the city’s Market House at Seventh and Wabasha (1878-1881) which burned in 1912 – a fire that consumed nearly the entire holdings of the St. Paul Public Library, the building’s major tenant at the time.

In 1912, another St. Paul architect, the prolific Augustus Gauger, designed and implemented a renovation to the Dakota County Courthouse. The central cupola-like dome was replaced with a circular dome and the dormers were removed from the four corner towers.

Among the notable events which have taken place in or at the courthouse was a reception with a speech by President Rutherford B. Hayes on September 9, 1878.

For over 100 years the courthouse served as the seat of Dakota County government. The county board held their last meeting in the courthouse in late September 1974. In 1993, the refurbished Courthouse opened as the new Hastings City Hall.

Visit one of these Dakota County Historic Sites