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Nassau County Courthouse Named To National Register Of Historic Places

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Surprises unfolded inside and outside the Nassau County Courthouse in Mineola on Thursday as the building was given a national honor; CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reports.

Video Transcript

- To Long Island and the place where Henry Fonda was married. Bob Dylan too. Also the site of a slew of sensational trials. It's the Nassau County Courthouse in Mineola. And, today, surprises unfold inside and outside the building as it was given a national honor. CBS2's Jennifer McLogan has more tonight.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: In the heart of the county seat in Mineola, many pass by these sandstone buildings unaware of their historical significance and grandeur.

MADELINE SINGAS: This courthouse was based on the design of the Lincoln Memorial. The Lincoln Memorial was actually based on the design of the Parthenon. And when people walk in, they should be filled with the awe and majesty and grandeur.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: The Nassau County Courthouse, a fusion of Beaux-Arts, Classicism, and Art Moderne style, was just named to the National Register of Historic Places.

DANIEL LOONEY: Its job is to evaluate, identify, and protect America's historic resources.

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: Bronze torchiere, sculptures of family life, gargoyles, marble steps, Doric columns, walls of limestone with embedded fossils millions of years old, even an air raid warning system.

The courthouse here has witnessed some of Long Island's most sensational courtroom trials-- the Weinberg kidnapping, Joel Rifkin, Amy Fisher, Colin Ferguson. And, back then, we raced with a quarter into these phone booths to call in the verdict. But there are signs of wear and tear-- crumbling facade and need of funding for new windows.

LAURA CURRAN: This designation will be very helpful in opening up some of those grants for us.

DANIEL LOONEY: Much more than bricks and mortar. It's not about a building. It's about people.

NORMAN ST. GEORGE: It is fitting that the inscription on the west side of the building reads, "Justice is God's idea but man's ideal."

JENNIFER MCLOGAN: A place to promote civic engagement, embrace the past and the future.

From Mineola, Long Island, Jennifer McLogan, CBS2 News.