This historic building was designed by the architectural firm of Favrot & Livaudais, Ltd. of New Orleans – a firm noted for designs that were literally “ahead of their time.” In keeping with the importance of the building, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building, constructed in 1911, is a two-story brick building featuring projected main block and lower flanking wings; piano nobile of the main block; and three massive arched openings with coupled Ionic columns in-between.
Of special interest to historians are the records of the parish. Many of these records are the original hand written documents dating from 1843. We are fortunate that the records survived the Civil War. These old papers are fragile and the environment in which they are stored is of vital importance to their preservation.
The October 25, 1911 issue of The Enterprise details it as a “place of interest to visit in Mansfield. Look at the foundation of the courthouse for the Parish of DeSoto. This semi-fireproof building will cost $100,000 when complete and will be one of the most modern and convenient temples of justice to be found in Louisiana outside of large cities.”
On July 19, 1997, the citizens of DeSoto Parish voted yes to a proposal for renovation of the courthouse and annex. The $4.7 million in general obligation bonds will be used to renovate and restore the courthouse and annex to provide vitally needed office space and records storage for the numerous agencies including the sheriff, district attorney, court, police jury, tax assessor and clerk of court. A one mill, ten-year property tax is expected to generate $135,000 annually for operating and maintaining the two buildings.
The architect is Mike Mason of Mason and Associates. The Committee for Renovation of the Courthouse is made up of citizens appointed by the Police Jury.