The Alameda County Courthouse, pictured above as it appeared in 1886, was constructed in 1875 in Washington Square, on the west side of Broadway between Fourth and Fifth Streets. It replaced a temporary courthouse east of the lake. The building was in use as a courthouse until it was replaced by the current courthouse in 1936, and was finally demolished in 1949-1950.
The ornate brick building had fallen into disrepair by the mid-1920s (judges called it a “vermin-infested menace to health and records”). During heavy winter rains in its final years, bailiffs held umbrellas over the bench to shield judges from leaks. 2