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  • Writer's pictureLou Ceci

Save Our Courthouse, Save Our Town - UPDATE

Updated: May 17, 2022

UPDATE 5/15/2022:

The Judicial Council released its assessment of the three options it was considering for our county courthouse last Tuesday evening. The lengthy report was discussed at the May 11th City Council Meeting (watch the meeting here; the Courthouse discussion starts 1 hour and 27 minutes into the meeting).

In short, the three options considered were:

  • Renovate the interior of the historic courthouse to meet safety and other requirements. Keep the exterior.

  • Tear down the courthouse and build a new one in its place.

  • Build a new courthouse elsewhere, leaving the historic courthouse intact but empty.

As I feared , the criteria the Judicial Council used to evaluate the options heavily weighed the outcome in favor of the third option. (See my April 26th post on Facebook for my objections to the criteria and the lack of public input.)

But the fight is not over. I urge you to encourage Mayor Strawser and City Manager Grayson to continue their efforts to save the building and keep the courts downtown. If we cannot do both, then we must insist on some compensation from the State so the City can take over the building and renovate it for our use.

My original blog is below:

The State Judicial Council is considering moving the county courthouse from downtown Nevada City. This art moderne gem, seen here in a photo by local photographer John Mueller, soars above the historic district and is visible from the highway. Abandoning it would not only have a devastating effect on our downtown economy, but would cut a vital part out of our civic soul.

Here is the letter I wrote to the Judicial Council about it:

Dear Members of the Judicial Council


Honorable Presiding Judge S Robert Tice-Rankin

Honorable Assistant Presiding Judge Linda Sloven

Honorable Judge Thomas Anderson

Honorable Judge Candace Heidelberger

Honorable Judge B. Scott Thomsen

Honorable Judge Yvette Durant:

I visited Nevada City for over twenty years before I decided to move here. The town’s mix of architectural preservation and lively culture kept drawing me back. Together, they form the background and highlights of my new life.

I am dismayed to hear that the Judicial Council is considering moving the courthouse from of the heart of our historic downtown. Its art moderne presence is the centerpiece, towering over the historic buildings from the gold mining era. It reminds us that prosperity alone does not make a great town, but justice and civic responsibility are required, too.

The city of Nevada City has proven, through decades of preservation efforts and public works, that it has the commitment to civic responsibility. The county court and its associated offices and businesses daily contribute to our prosperity. Do not remove this shining symbol of justice from our heart.

Please keep the courts in downtown Nevada City.


Louis G. Ceci

309 Cross Street

Nevada City, CA 9595

You, too, can join the fight to retain our county courthouse. Write your own letter of support for keeping the courts downtown and send it to Together, we can avoid having yet another unused county building haunting our beautiful city.

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