New Bern has been the seat of a United States District Court since the establishment of the District of North Carolina by Act of Congress on June 4, 1790. Stephens describes the many changes in the housing of the court during the past 216 years. The court's current residence is in a courthouse that was dedicated in December 1934. Over the past decade maintenance work has stabilized the building. Stephens discusses work now in progress to upgrade and modernize the courthouse to bring it into the twenty-first century.