Chapter Seven: From Seventeenth-Century Town Halls to Twentieth-Century Courts

“The deployment of courthouses to signify government was not simply an outgrowth of the expansion of political and economic power. Rather, this special form of building reflects the intersecting interests of three professions— lawyers, judges, and architects—that generated the building type now known as a courthouse.”

Public and Social Traditions in Town and Country Courts

Building a New Legal System in the United States

  • A Grounding in Colonial and State Court Systems
    • Purpose-Built Structures: From Houses to Taverns to Courts
    • Segregating Interiors by Roles and Race
    • Architecture and Adornment
    • Juridical Privilege, Exclusion and Protest
  • Marking a “Federal Presence”
    • Borrowing Space, Rules and Administrative Support
    • Custom Houses, Marine Hospitals, and Post Offices
    • Professional Architects and Public Patronage
    • Courts - From California to the New York Island
      • Statehood for Texas and a New Federal Building in Galveston
      • Building and Rebuilding in Des Moines and Biloxi
    • Moving Further, Farther, and Higher
      • Westward Expansion: Denver, Missoula, and San Diego
      • Offshore and Across Land: Puerto Rico and Alaska
      • Sky High in New York City

Architectural Statements and Obsolescence