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Delaware Docket Newsletter
Fall 2013

Visitors Tour Kent county Courthouse Courtroom No. 1

Lisa Robinson

Lisa Robinson, Kent County Deputy Court Administrator, Superior Court, in newly renovated Courtroom No. 1 in the Kent County Courthouse

The Kent County Courthouse Courtroom No. 1 was recently added as one of the many fascinating historical stops on the First State Heritage Park Trail at Dover.  The park is Delaware's first urban "park without boundaries" and includes historic and cultural sites in the city. A much anticipated addition to the trail, Courtroom No. 1 is open on the first Saturday of the month from 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Visitors receive information about the history of Delaware's judicial system and hear stories about the judges who have presided in that courtroom.

Lisa Robinson, Kent County Superior Court Deputy Court Administrator, has special memories of the old Courthouse " she has worked at the Courthouse for 22 years and was married in Courtroom No. 1 in 2006.

"I like the character of the courtroom. It's got that historic feel," said Lisa.

"Those of us who remember the old Courthouse do not even recognize it when inside the building now that it is so clean and pretty. It's amazing. It doesn''t look like the same place. The Judges are very happy with the renovations and are enjoying using the courtrooms again," Lisa said proudly. "It really is worth the time to stop in and have a look at our beautiful new old Courthouse."

The Kent County Courthouse has been in the same location since 1874 and has undergone a series of renovations. In 1918, the Courthouse's fourth floor was removed and the exterior was redone in Colonial style. In 1983, changes included a third-story addition, air conditioning and accommodations for the handicapped. The most recent renovation addressed crumbling walls, basement flooding, leaking roof, outdated electrical wiring, and major security updates. Courtroom No. 1 was re-painted in the pre-1918 color scheme and reopened on June 13, 2013.

The response to the renovated Courthouse has been overwhelmingly positive. Many who worked at, or visited, the old courthouse are pleased to learn of its recent inclusion as a site on the First State Heritage Park Trail.