(Dec. 16, 1826-May 17, 1909). Born in Belfast, Ireland, Isaac Hodgson attended the Belfast Royal Academy. At age 16, he entered the office of Sir Charles Lanyon, architect of the Palm House at the Belfast Botanical Gardens and of the redesign of Killyleagh Castle, believed to be the oldest inhabited castle in Northern Ireland.

Isaac M. Hodgson designed the Marion County Courthouse which was completed in 1876. Credit: The Bretzman Collection, Indiana Historical Society View Source

Hodgson immigrated to New York in 1848. One year later he moved west to Louisville, Kentucky, where he was an assistant architect for several state government buildings. Hodgson relocated to Indianapolis in the 1850s, becoming one of six professional architects working in the city at that time. He designed the stone and brick buildings for the United States Arsenal in 1863 (Arsenal Technical High School), as well as the original structures for the Indiana Female Reformatory (1870) and several residences.

His greatest Indianapolis accomplishment was the Marion County Courthouse. The most elaborate courthouse in the state, the Second Empire-style building cost $1.5 million to erect in 1876 and stood for 86 years. He was also the architect for the Rose Polytechnic Institute (Rose-Hulman) in Terre Haute, Indiana, and for several courthouses and prisons throughout the Midwest. In May 1884, he and eight others chartered the Indiana Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Revised July 2021

Help improve this entry

Contribute information, offer corrections, suggest images.

You can also recommend new entries related to this topic.