New Courthouse Architecture
They’re being built at a staggering rate. New ones are rapidly replacing old ones. Top architects are being called in to design them. . . .
No, I’m not talking about stadiums. I’m talking about courthouses. A recent Legal Affairs article chronicles a dramatic transformation in courthouse architecture and describes the building boom in new courthouses. Courthouses used to be built as “solemn, neo-Classical style structures,” but recently things have changed. Today, top architects bid on the construction of courthouses:
The new architect selection standards coincide with the largest federal courthouse building initiative in the nation’s history, a program necessitated by the rise in the number of federal cases—up some 20 percent in the last decade—and a shift in caseloads from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt. As droves of people continue to move from Buffalo to Houston or from St. Louis to Phoenix, caseloads are moving with them. In all, nearly 200 courthouses will be built or renovated over the next 25 years, at a cost in the tens of billions of dollars.
If you’re interested in the history of courthouse architecture, the article is well worth checking out. One of the courthouses discussed in the article is the stunning new federal courthouse in Boston, pictured below:
For all the law architecture nerds out there, I did a little web surfing and found some pictures of new or planned courthouses. Beginning with state courthouses, here are ones from Lexington, SC, Lexington, KY, and Syracuse, NY:
And, although not brand new, it is certainly worth mentioning the 9th Circuit courthouse in Pasadena, CA where I clerked, which is one of the most beautiful courthouses I’ve seen:
Hat tip: beSpacific