Children standing outside of the 1921 school, credit to Sandy Thurlow Collection.

The Old Martin County Courthouse Cultural Center, located at 80 East Ocean Boulevard, is significant to Martin County’s history with its unique architecture and contribution to Martin County’s political history. 

The Courthouse was the first structure in Martin County built specifically as a courthouse for use by the county government. Until 1937, the county government had operated in a 1908-converted schoolhouse.

The county outgrew this building during the Florida boom period of the 1920’s. Also significant, the building exemplifies the Works Progress Administration and how it contributed to the cityscape and to the economy in 1937.

Much later, the building was a part of the original master plan for the City of Stuart revitalization in 1988. As part of the revitalization, the building was saved from destruction and restored to its post-depression Art Deco style.

Architecturally, the building was an example of the work of West Palm Beach architect L. Phillip Clarke, who also designed the 1937 Citizens Bank building and in 1949, Saint Mary’s Episcopal Church, both of which are still located in the City of Stuart.

The Old Martin County Courthouse has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1997.