The Beadle County Courthouse was originally designed and constructed in 1922 by architect William E. Hulse and contractors Bartleson and Ness. Hulse had offices in Hutchinson, KS, Sioux City, IA and Des Moines, IA, and his office built many courthouses across the Midwest.
Like many of these three-story county courthouses, the courtroom itself occupied the third story, the lower floors accommodating county offices. The courtroom at the Beadle County Courthouse was extremely large, especially considering its location and rural context. A series of upgrades and interior remodels were completed in the 1960s and 70s, dividing the courtroom roughly in half, with an unadorned, drywall partition. Dropped acoustical tile ceilings were added covering the original canvas coffers and dropped beams. An elevator was added, and other room finishes were modified over the years.
Beginning in the 2000s another series of building renovations on the first two floors brought the building closer to its original architectural state. This project, for the (now two) courtrooms and remaining third floor, completed this long term building restoration.
The program included the historical restoration of third floor rooms, all new millwork and furnishings, re-exposing and repair of the original coffered ceilings, ADA restroom renovation, and mechanical, electrical, audio-visual and security upgrades. Construction was phased to allow one courtroom to remain open during the work.
The two courtroom plan remains. The drywall partition that divides the original was remodeled to match the adjacent, Neo-Classical plaster and wood interior.
Third floor construction plan
Detail of original Third Floor Plan by William E. Hulse, 1922.