This "noble pile" as it was described at the dedication of January 8, 1900, is the third courthouse built on Monument Square. When Calvert Street was leveled in 1784, the original courthouse—site of the May 1774 Stamp Act Protest and the July 1776 reading of the Declaration of Independence—was saved from demolition by being raised high avove the street level on stone archways. In 1805, when the small building could no longer serve the growing population, a second courthouse was erected on the west side of Calvert Street.
Ninety years later, that courthouse was razed and a design competition was held for the present building. Leading architects from around the country presented design schemes which aimed to combine simplicity with dignity. J. B. Noel Wyatt and William G. Nolting's award winning design of Beaux-Arts classicism demonstrated the taste of the period for strict symmetry, massive columns and clear definition of parts.
The interior of the courthouse, richly ornamented with marble and mahogany, is notable for its Orphans Court, Bar Library and Supreme Bench Rotunda. Bold, vivid murals deplicting ancient lawgivers and Maryland historical events decorate the court rooms, vestibules and halls. The Baltimore City Courthouse was the site of the 1979 film "And Justice for All."