It is a nationally accredited award winning museum with five permanent exhibit galleries and two rotating galleries. The building used to be the McLean County Courthouse, the first of which was built in 1836. Abraham Lincoln and other attorneys of the Eighth Judicial Circuit practiced law there. A new courthouse was built in 1868, but a fire in downtown Bloomington destroyed four and a half square blocks and caused major damage to the structure in 1900. The courthouse continued to be used for administrative purposes until 1988, and then was converted into a museum. The building was built between 1901-1903 and is designed in the American Renaissance style. Rising from the roof are a limestone drum and copper dome said to be modeled after Rome's St. Peter's Basilica. The museum offers hands-on activities for children as well as annual events including the Evergreen Cemetery Walk and Christmas at the Courthouse. It is also the home of the Cruisin' with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center.