Built between 1871 and 1874, the Hampden County Courthouse was designed by H.H. Richardson and represents a stage in the development of his distinctive style. Located on Elm Street in Springfield, the structure replaced an earlier courthouse of 1822. In the 1860s, the county commissioners had resisted popular pressure to construct a new courthouse, but when the commissioners were threatened with an indictment in 1869 for not safekeeping deeds and public records in fireproof rooms, they relented and a new building was constructed. Between 1908 and 1912, a large addition was built, designed by the firm of Richardson’s successors, Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge.