Courthouse Factsheet

Interior Renovations - 2013
  • Total cost $5,625,141 ($492,229 for design and $5,132,912 for construction).
  • Project focused on full restoration of the courthouse’s interior to the integrity of its 1933 design.
  • The Truman Courthouse will once again be a “working courthouse” with office space for various Jackson County Departments, the Independence Tourism Department and the Jackson County Historical Society. Total floor space equals 35,400 square feet.
  • Harry Truman’s original office and courtroom, where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of Jackson County, has been historically preserved. The courtroom’s wall clock is stopped at 7:50, commemorating the exact minute of Truman’s death on the morning December 26, 1972.
  • The Brady Courtroom, which dates back to the original construction of the building in the 19th Century, also adds to the facility’s appeal as tourist attraction-as does the new Jackson County Museum of Art, included the renovation of the courthouse’s second floor and featuring works with ties to the local region.
  • New heating and air-conditioning systems were installed. A new elevator was also installed to allow accessibility to all 3 floors of the building.
  • Some exterior work was done as the iconic clock tower was restored, including the replacement of the clockworks.
Site Improvements - 2009
  • Citing concern that the building might deteriorate to a point of being beyond repair, County Executive Mike Sanders declared a public emergency to release funding for 2009 exterior renovations, which were completed in September of that year with a construction cost of $776,005. Design work was done by in-house Jackson County staff.
  • The focus in 2009 was on restoring the courthouse grounds to their 1933 appearance, which included removing a retaining wall that, after being built in 1972, had trapped water from rainfall and snow melt around the building’s foundation.
  • Improved roof drains were connected to the City of Independence stormwater system, and a new irrigation system was installed.
  • Limestone entry stairs were replaced, old wrought iron handrails were refurbished, and 70 additional parking spaces were created.
Building’s History
  • Jackson County’s 2-room log cabin courthouse was replaced in 1837 by a new building, which underwent 6 remodeling/expansion projects throughout the remainder of the 1800s and into the early 1900s.
  • Portions of the original courthouse from the 19th century were “encapsulated” within the addition/restoration of the courthouse completed in 1933-under the supervision of Harry Truman, the then Presiding Judge of Jackson County.
  • The Truman Courthouse has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1972.
  • September 7, 2013 marks 80 years to the day that Harry Truman rededicated the courthouse on Independence Square following the completion of the 1933 remodeling.