Kalamazoo County Votes to Name New Courthouse After Kalamazoo’s First Black Judge, Charles A. Pratt

Kalamazoo County’s newest building will be named the Judge Charles A. Pratt Justice Center. The county’s bar association recommended the name to honor Judge Charles A. Pratt, who passed away on 21 March 1989, and holds the distinction of being Kalamazoo County’s first black judge. Judge Pratt was born in Kalamazoo on 2 April 1909 to Otis and Lydia Pratt, and grew up on Peeler Street. After graduating from Kalamazoo Central High School in 1928, Pratt attended Howard University earning his law degree in 1935. Upon returning to Kalamazoo, he opened a law practice on North Burdick Street, above the A. L Lakey paint store. Pratt joined the Kalamazoo County Bar Association, and later served as the association’s president in the early 1970’s. Kalamazoo County commissioners agreed to the new name for the courthouse on October 3, 2023. The new justice center in slated to open later this year in downtown Kalamazoo.


To learn more about Judge Pratt visit Pratt, Charles A. — Kalamazoo Public Library (kpl.gov) to learn more about the Charles A. Pratt Justice Center visit 10/4/23: A temp seat in Portage – NowKalamazoo