Detroit architect John Scott designed the building which stands 5 floors. Constructed from 1897 to 1902, it may be the nation's finest surviving example of Roman Baroque architecture, with a blend of Beaux-Arts and some elements of the neo-classical architectural style.
It was built using copper, granite, and stone. The exterior architectural sculpture, including the Anthony Wayne pediment was executed by Detroit sculptor Edward Wagner. The bronze sculpture, two quadrigas, Victory and Progress and four figures on the tower, Law, Commerce, Agriculture, and Mechanics, were made by New York sculptor J. Massey Rhind.
A renovation was carried out in 1986 by Quinn Evans Architects and Smith Hinchman & Grylls Associates.
The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
The height of the courthouse's tower is 247 feet.
The Wayne County Building is English Baroque in style, featuring a tall, four-tiered, hipped roof central tower balanced by end pavilions.
The exterior is profusely ornamented with sculpture; the interior is finished in a variety of woods, marbles, tiles, and mosaics.
Built with buff Berea Sandstone, the facade features a rusticated basement story and a balustrade between the third and fourth stories. At the main entrance, a broad flight of stairs leads up to a two-story Corinthian column portico.
Despite most Wayne County government offices having vacated this building for the modern Coleman A. Young Municipal Center a block west, the office of the executive of Wayne County is still located here.
The courthouse is faced in granite and sandstone with copper accents.