[Bergen County Court House Side]:
James Riely Gordon (1863-1937), noted architect of public buildings used the Beaux Arts style to reflect the power and dignity of American institutions of government and justice. Ground was broken November 29, 1909 and the cornerstone laid on July 6, 1910. On February 1912 the building was completed at a cost of $1,617,000. The original design had space for County government and State and County courts. This is the fifth courthouse to stand in Hackensack since becoming the County Seat in 1710. This Classical granite and marble building with its dome modeled on the U.S. Capitol also incorporated other art forms—painting, sculpture and stained glass. On top of the dome's cupola is the statue Enlightenment Giving Power by John Gelert. The marble statues on the walls flanking the main steps represent History and Law.
[Bergen County Old Jail Side]:
Architect James Riely Gordon designed the jail in the fortified Medieval Revival style. This style of architecture incorporates fortress-like elements such as turrets, parapets and slit windows related to imprisonment in ancient castles and dungeons. The building's cross-shaped plan has wings radiating out from a central octagonal tower surmounted by a domed skylight filled with decorative glass. This tower, used for ventilation, allowed for a few guards to oversee many prisoners held in the detention cells. The cells were the latest prefabricated design with locking devices and other control mechanisms. The east wing was devoted to the Sheriff's residence. Constructed simultaneously with the Court House, the jail was completed in 1912 at a cost of $250,000. It was decommissioned as an active jail in 1993.