Sitting a proud distance back from the National Road/US 40, the Hancock County Courthouse commands respect with its Roman arches and heavy stoneworkóboth characteristic of the Romanesque Revival style. Carved stone grotesques in the form of monkeys, dogs and other creatures keep watch over all who enter. On the interior the courthouse resembles a Gothic cathedral with its ribbed ceiling, fan vaulting, and plaster cherubs. Standing on the north side of the courthouse lawn is Greenfield's favorite son, James Whitcomb Riley. The bronze sculpture by Hoosier artist Myra Reynolds Richards was dedicated in 1918.
Because the north side of the courthouse is located along busy US 40, motorists seldom take the time to drive around the square. Nonetheless, the Hancock County Courthouse is designed in the popular Shelbyville plan, with the streets intersecting at each corner of the square.
Fort Wayne architects, Wing & Mahurin, designed the Hancock County Courthouse that was constructed from 1896-97. It's no coincidence that the courthouses in Hancock and Starke counties resemble each other; both were designed by Wing & Mahurin. In 1896 construction costs for the courthouse were just over $250,000. The current restoration effort includes restoring the decorative domed ceiling of the third floor courtroom and upgrading mechanical systems. The bond issue to pay for the courthouse restoration was approximately $5 million. The Hancock County Courthouse was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.