The cornerstone for the building was laid in September 1907, just eight months after the courthouse that preceded it, which was designed by local architect Henry S. Moul, was destroyed by fire. The building was completed a year later, in September 1908. It was designed by the celebrated architects Whitney Warren and Charles Wetmore, most famous for their work on Grand Central Station.
When the courthouse was built, everything that surrounds it was already there, with the exception of the post office, which was built a year or two later, and St. Mary's Church, which was built in 1929. In 1907, there were houses on both those sites, and a house on Allen Street, just west of the courthouse site, where now there is a parking lot. Warren and Wetmore were early advocates of the City Beautiful movement, which Emily Pulfer-Terino, writing in 2003 for Columbia County History & Heritage, defines as "America's first serious attempt at a new kind of urban planning that would create cohesive city environments"--"harmonious architectural ensembles."
Contemplating the current courthouse, one wonders how, in its hour of need, after losing two courthouses to fire in less than a decade (the Moul courthouse had been built in 1901 after fire destroyed the previous one), Columbia County managed to retain the services of architects of the stature and reputation of Whitney Warren and Charles Wetmore. The clue may be that Warren had connections to Columbia County and to the City of Hudson. His maternal grandmother, Caroline Whitney Phoenix, lived at Glenwood, the estate that once belonged to Dr. Oliver Bronson. Mrs. Phoenix was the benefactrix for whom Phoenix Hose Co., headquartered in one of the firehouses on Park Place, was named.