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Nassau County Courthouse Named To National Register Of Historic Places

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- The Nassau County Courthouse in Mineola was named to the National Register of Historic Places on Thursday.

As CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported, the building has been the site of a slew of sensational trials. It's also where actor Henry Fonda was married, and singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, too.

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

"This courthouse was based on the design of the Lincoln Memorial," said Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas. "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."

The Nassau County Courthouse, a fusion of beaux-arts, classicism and art-moderne style, was just named to the National Register of Historic Places.

"It's job is to evaluate, identify and protect America's historic resources," said Assistant District Attorney Daniel Looney.

The courthouse has witnessed some of Long Island's most sensational courtroom trials: the Weinstein kidnapping, Joel Rifkin, Amy Fisher and Colin Ferguson.

Back then, reporters raced into phone booths with a quarter to call in the verdict.

But there are signs of wear and tear, including crumbling facade and funding is needed for new windows.

"This designation will be very helpful in opening up some of those grants for us," said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.

"It's much more than bricks and mortar. It's not about a building, it's about people," Looney said.

"It is fitting that the inscription on the west side of the building reads, 'Justice is God's idea, but man's ideal,'" said Nassau County Administrative Judge Norman St. George.

Now a national landmark, the courthouse promotes civic engagement while embracing the past and the future.

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