A Guide to the Hennepin County Government Center


The main courthouse and government administration hub in Hennepin County is the Hennepin County Government Center in downtown Minneapolis. If you have to go make a court appearance, the government center is most likely where you will have to appear. Here is some information about the building and its history.

The Building Itself

The Center is an H-shaped building to represent the logo of Hennepin County. Each “H” is a tower 24 stories high. The northwest tower houses the administrative offices, which include county records and social services. The Southeast side is where the courtrooms and attorney offices are located. Construction on the building started in 1973, and was finished in 1977, and was designed by John Carl Warnecke & Associates architectural firm.

It is built on the corner of 5th and 6th streets. There is a tunnel running under 5th street that connects the government center with City Hall. The building is serviced by the Government Plaza Metro station, which is situated right between City Hall of the government building. The federal courthouse for the District of Minnesota can also be accessed by the tunnel. There is also a skyway connection to the US Bank Plaza Building, and the Thrivenet headquarters building. An adult detention center is also accessible by secure tunnel that runs across the plaza at the base of the building.

The History of the Hennepin County Government Center

There are catwalks between the towers, and sadly in the early days of the building several people committed suicide by jumping from them. Because of this, they are now enclosed by 6-foot panels made of glass. There was also a fatal shooting in 2003, after which they increased security. These measures included metal detectors and x-ray equipment. Famed tight-rope walker Philippe Petit has also performed between the towers.

Famous Trials

There have been a few notable proceedings to take place in the government center. For one, Senator Larry Craig pled guilty to disorderly conduct. As well, a player for the Minnesota Vikings, Carl Eller, was found guilty of assaulting a police officer. There have been many others, as well.

More Information:

The Hennepin County Government Center Website

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