Phone Directory


Historic Courthouse

416 Centre Street
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034
(904) 491-6430







Judicial Annex

76347 Veteran's Way Suite 456
Yulee, FL 32097
(904) 548-4600


Historic Courthouse - Fernandina Beach, Florida

historic_courthouse_postcard     historic_courthouse_courtroom

The Historic Courthouse of Nassau County has served citizens since 1892 and stands ready to serve another century.

Although Nassau County was formed in 1824, the courthouse was not erected until 1892. It is the second oldest functioning courthouse in Florida (Osceola County Courthouse in Kissimmee is 2 years older).

The cost to build the courthouse in the late 1800's was about $25,000. The bell was cast by Meneely & Co. of West Troy, NY, and was part of the city's fire alarm system until the mid 1930's.

In 2002, the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners voted to restore the Historic Courthouse to its original splendor. An excerpt from Mr. Johannnes's book, Yesterday's Reflections, quotes a statement from a report of the National Register of Historic Places; "the building 'is unquestionably of the finest in quality of detail and workmanship' in the State of Florida."

This effort to "save our building" was not just a painting and remodel, but rather a true historic renovation. The utility and usefulness of the structure was maintained as was its historic correctness. The renovation process has followed the guidelines of the State of Florida Bureau of Historic Preservation as well as the local Historic District Council, and those of use who were involved are proud that we were able to produce a product for our county that maintained the historic use of the building without sacrificing the historical integrity.

Paint samples were sent out for examination so that we could use the original colors, the front doors were restored rather than being replaced; floors were refinished and exposed in light traffic areas; other areas were exposed so that the citizens could see the original construction of the building. PQH Architects and Engineers or Jacksonville, were in constant contact with the State to ensure that each change we made was in keeping with historic standards.

Special mention must be made of the efforts that our contractor, The Auchter Company, exhibited throughout the project. They were meticulous in their efforts to give a true historic renovation. Many man hours were spent saving pieces rather than replacing. They have worked around curious spectators, knowledgeable local historians, insistent government officials, and still the final product will be at or below budget. This project has been a success because of many caring and interested people. It will continue to be a success because of caring citizens.


The Judicial Annex - Yulee, Florida

judicialannexThe Nassau County Judicial Annex is located approximately 15 miles west of Fernandina Beach and 15 miles east of Callahan. The building is located near Exit 373 off of Interstate 95. William Burgess Boulevard runs in front of the annex. The Betty Cook Center of the Florida Community College of Jacksonville is located near the annex.

A primary reason for the location of the Judicial Annex is to provide Nassau County taxpayers with a centralized location to conduct business with the local court system.

Ground was officially broken on the Judicial Annex site in September, 2002. The Annex opened in April, 2004. The building is approximately 111,600 square feet of new construction. The building contains 10,000 tons of concrete, 632 tons of steel and 420 tons of heating and cooling equipment. There are 2,046 light fixtures, 43 miles of voice and data cabling, 199 rooms and 371 doors. There are more than a quarter million bricks on the façade. Construction involved 57 subcontracting companies. At the project’s peak, there were 227 men and women working simultaneously on different facets of the building.

A storm-hardened records center and the Nassau County Jail are located near the Judicial Annex. The courthouse contains a three-story wing with space for four courtrooms and chambers (two of which are shelled for future use), court support functions and a parking/sallyport area at the ground floor. The second floor houses the court clerk’s office, public defender offices, the state attorney’s office and the clerk finance office.

The two wings are organized around a three-story atrium lobby. A monumental public stair connects all three floors for ease of access. The two wings define a generous, multi-level landscaped civic plaza which is highlighted by a 130-foot-tall clock tower. The clock tower serves as a symbol of justice for the county while reflecting the historic clock tower located in downtown Fernandina Beach. The brick façade is clad with precast trim embellishments for the entry pavilion, cornices, trim and the two-story Tuscan order classical colonnade.