United States Supreme Court Building

The Supreme Court Building houses the Supreme Court of the United States. Completed in 1935, it is in Washington, D.C. at 1 First Street, NE, in the block immediately east of the United States Capitol. The building is under the jurisdiction of the Architect of the Capitol. On May 4, 1987, the Supreme Court Building was designated a National Historic Landmark.[1][2]

The building is the official residence and workplace of the Supreme Court Justices of the United States. This building was also referred to as The Marble Palace by John P. Frank[3], and is located at One First Street within a mile proximity of the Library of Congress, NE Washington[4]. The physical construction of this building began in 1932 and was completed in 1935, however the idea to create this building originated from William Howard Taft in 1912[4] and was officially completed under the guidance of Chief Justice Hughes.[4] The building was designed by Cass Gilbert, who was a well-known architect and friend to Justice Taft.[5]

Supreme Court Building
West Façade
United States Supreme Court Building is located in Central Washington, D.C.
United States Supreme Court Building
United States Supreme Court Building is located in the United States
United States Supreme Court Building
Location1 First Street, Northeast
Washington, D.C.
Coordinates38°53′25.8″N 77°0′16.2″W / 38.890500°N 77.004500°WCoordinates: 38°53′25.8″N 77°0′16.2″W / 38.890500°N 77.004500°W
ArchitectCass Gilbert, Cass Gilbert Jr.
NRHP reference #87001294[1]
Designated NHLMay 4, 1987[1]
Panorama of United States Supreme Court Building at Dusk
The Supreme Court Building of the United States


The Supreme Court Building is the official residence and workplace of the Supreme Court Justices of the United States. The building was also referred to as The Marble Palace by John P. Frank. Prior to the establishment of the Federal City, the United States government resided briefly in New York City. The Supreme Court met there in the Merchants Exchange Building. When the capital moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Court moved with it and began meeting in Independence Hall, before settling in Old City Hall at 5th and Chestnut Streets from 1791 until 1800.[6]

After the federal government moved to Washington, D.C., the court had no permanent meeting location until 1810. When the architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe had the second U.S. Senate chamber built directly on top of the first US Senate chamber, the Supreme Court took up residence in what is now referred to as the Old Supreme Court Chamber from 1810 through 1860.[7] It remained in the Capitol until 1935, with the exception of a period from 1812 to 1819, during which the Court was absent from Washington because of the British invasion and the destruction of the Capitol during the War of 1812.[6]

In 1810, the Supreme Court first occupied the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the Capitol.[6] As the Senate expanded, it progressively outgrew its quarters. In 1860, after the new wings of the Capitol for the Senate and the House of Representatives had been completed, the Supreme Court moved to the Old Senate Chamber (as it is now known) where it remained until its move to the current Supreme Court building.

The physical construction of this building began in 1932 and was completed in 1935, however the idea to create this building originated from Chief Justice William Howard Taft in 1912[4] and was officially completed under the guidance of Chief Justice Hughes.[4]In 1929, Chief Justice Taft argued successfully for the Court to have its own headquarters to distance itself from Congress as an independent branch of government, but he did not live to see it built. The court was finally designed by Cass Gilbert, who was a well-known architect and friend to Taft, and created many other structures in the United States.[8]

Motivations for the Creation of the Supreme Court Building

From 1860 to 1935, the Supreme Court Justices were designated to conduct their work within the cramped space of the old Senate Chamber[9] alongside other federal government employees. This environment discouraged the Supreme Court Justices from travelling to Washington, so they conducted most of their work from their homes.[10] Before the Supreme Court building was approved, Charles Evans Hughes, who had been an Associate Justice from 1910 to 1914, was vocally outspoken about the poor conditions of the justices's working environment and described the Old Senate Chamber as small, overheated, and barren.[11] Through the rigorous lobbying efforts of Chief Justice Taft, he was able to secure the funding needed from Congress for a Supreme Court building in 1929.[10] Taft's motivations for a Supreme Court building were fueled by the relationship between the judicial branch and the other branches of government,[12] as well as the drastic differences in his working environment from when he served as President of the United States to when he served as the Chief Supreme Court Justice. As Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Taft envisioned the judicial branch of government to embody a persona of independence, and therefore saw the Supreme Court building as a means of establishing his vision.[11]

The Restoration of the Supreme Court Building

The Supreme Court building would not have been completed without the further commitment of Charles Evans Hughes, who succeeded Taft as Chief Justice in 1930.

Opposition to the Supreme Court Building

Interior of the Supreme Court Building

Chief Justice White was part of the initial resistance to the idea of a Supreme Court building. He argued that the Supreme Court obtained its relevance because of its location within the Capitol.[13] Many Justices in addition to Justice White refused to conduct their work within the building, and remained in their homes.[13] The familiarity of their work spaces at home naturally discouraged the justices from operating in a completely new location, and they were also given funding by Congress to work from their homes.[14]

Justices Harlan Stone and Louis Brandeis did not move into the new Supreme Court Building during their service on the court.[15] Brandeis believed that Taft's intentions behind the new building represented a conflict between the judicial branch and the executive and legislative branches of government.[15] Brandeis also opposed Taft's efforts to secure a new Supreme Court building by suggesting that a new wing should be added to the capitol to avoid having to work from his home;[15] however Taft was relentless in pursuing his vision for the Supreme Court. A decade after the Supreme Court building was complete, all nine justices occupied an office within its body.[16] This is primarily because the justices that did not favor the new Supreme Court Building were eventually replaced by new justices who were not as familiar with working from home.[17]

The main opposition to the creation of the Supreme Court building was in Congress, particularly during Taft's tenure as Chief Justice from 1921 to 1929. Taft faced opposition from senators in Congress, such as Senator Curtis, who threatened to replace Taft if he continued to protest his working conditions.[14] In 1927, Taft noticed that out of ninety-six total senators at the time, only one urgently supported Taft's lobbying efforts; but only because this senator wanted the space the justices occupied at that time for the Senate.[18]

Temple of Justice

The Supreme Court Building is located at 1 First Street, NE (former site of the Old Brick Capitol, across the street from the United States Capitol) and was designed by architect Cass Gilbert (as Gilbert's last major project; he died before it was completed). Cass Gilbert was a long-time friend to William Howard Taft, and was employed for several years by McKim, Mead and White, then regarded as the largest architectural firm in the world.[19] Chief Justice Taft personally appointed Gilbert for the architectural planning and construction of the Supreme Court building.[20] Gilbert was not particularly concerned with the function of the Supreme Court building for the Supreme Court Justices; however, the respect Gilbert had for Chief Justice Taft compelled him to design the building as a testament to his friend's honor.[21] Gilbert's architectural imagination resulted in a Greek styled temple which was intended to communicate the inherent royalty of law.[22]

Oblique facade 3, US Supreme Court
Modern view of the Supreme Court Building

The Supreme Court Building rises four stories (92 ft (28 m)) above ground. The cornerstone was laid on October 13, 1932, and construction completed in 1935, having cost $94,000 less than the $9,740,000 budget authorized by Congress ($142 million in 2018 dollars).[23] "The building was designed on a scale in keeping with the importance and dignity of the Court and the Judiciary as a coequal, independent branch of the United States Government, and as a symbol of 'the national ideal of justice in the highest sphere of activity.'"[6] It is built in the Neoclassical style. The public façade is made of marble quarried from Vermont, and that of the non-public-facing courtyards, Georgia marble. Most of the interior spaces are lined with Alabama marble, except for the Courtroom itself, which is lined with Spanish ivory vein marble.[24] For the Courtroom's 24 columns, "Gilbert felt that only the ivory buff and golden marble from the Montarrenti quarries near Siena, Italy" would suffice. To this end, in May 1933, he petitioned the Italian Premier, Benito Mussolini, "to ask his assistance in guaranteeing that the Siena quarries sent nothing inferior to the official sample marble."

Not all the justices were thrilled by the new arrangements, the courtroom in particular. Harlan Fiske Stone complained it was "almost bombastically pretentious...Wholly inappropriate for a quiet group of old boys such as the Supreme Court." Another justice observed that he felt the court would be "nine black beetles in the Temple of Karnak," while still another complained that such pomp and ceremony suggested the justices ought to enter the courtroom riding on elephants. The New Yorker columnist Howard Brubaker noted at the time of its opening that it had "fine big windows to throw the New Deal out of."[25]

The west façade of the building (essentially, the "front" of the court, being the side which faces the Capitol) bears the motto "Equal Justice Under Law," while the east façade bears the motto "Justice, the Guardian of Liberty." On November 28, 2005, a basketball-sized chunk of marble weighing approximately 172 lb (78 kg) fell four stories from the west façade onto the steps of the Court; it had previously been part of the parapet above the word "under" in the "Equal Justice Under Law" engraving immediately above the figure of a Roman centurion carrying fasces. After the incident, planning was initiated to repair the west façade, which included cleaning, removal of debris, and restoration. In 2012 scaffolding encased the west façade printed with a full-size photograph of the façade. The project was completed in 2013.[26]

The Supreme Court Building's facilities include:

  • In the basement: maintenance facilities, garage, on-site mailroom.
  • On the first (or ground) floor: Public information office, the clerk's office, the publications unit, exhibit halls, cafeteria, gift shop and administrative offices.
  • On the second floor: the Great Hall, the courtroom, the conference room, and all of the justices' chambers except Justice Sotomayor (she swapped with Justice Ginsburg for a roomier office on the third floor).
  • On the third floor: The office of Justice Sotomayor, the office of the Reporter of Decisions, the legal office, and the offices of the law clerks. Also, the justices' dining and reading rooms are on this floor.
  • On the fourth floor: The court library
  • On the fifth floor: The Supreme Court gym, including a basketball court (named the "Highest Court in the Land")[27]

Originally built as a storage area, the gym was converted to its current state in the late 1940s, although who is responsible for the transformation is not known. Some have said that it was at the suggestion of architect Cass Gilbert, Jr. who took over many of his father's projects after he died. Among the justices known for their on-court prowess was Justice Byron White who, as the runner-up for the 1937 Heisman Trophy and former National Football League player, is considered to be the Supreme Court's preeminent sportsman. Among the Supreme Court clerks who have played is Fox News commentator Laura Ingraham, a critic of the National Basketball Association, and current Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Brett Kavanaugh. Near the entrance to the gym is a sign that reads "PLAYING BASKETBALL AND WEIGHT LIFTING ARE PROHIBITED WHILE THE COURT IS IN SESSION".[28]

The Supreme Court Building maintains its own police force, the Supreme Court Police. Separate from the Capitol Police, the force was created in 1935 to look after the building and its personnel.

Sculptural program

View of Supreme Court Building from United States Capitol dome. At Cass Gilbert's request, A. Hall and Sons Terra Cotta of Perth Amboy, New Jersey created the terra cotta roof for the building housing the nation's highest court.
  • Cass Gilbert's design for the building and its environs included an ambitious Beaux-Arts-styled sculptural program that included a large number and variety of both real and allegorical figures
  • Supreme Court flagpole bases, and bronze doors in the east and west façades by John Donnelly.
  • East pediment: Justice, the Guardian of Liberty by Hermon Atkins MacNeil
  • West pediment: Equal Justice Under Law by Robert Ingersoll Aitken. This work includes a portrait of Cass Gilbert, third from the left in the pediment. It also contains a self-portrait of Robert Ingersoll Aitken third from the right.
  • Seated figures: The Authority of Law (south side) and The Contemplation of Justice (north side) by James Earle Fraser
  • Great Hall: Busts of each of the Chief Justices of the United States in alcoves on either side of the Hall. These marble works are periodically appropriated by the Congress. The most recent addition was Chief Justice William Rehnquist's bust in December 2009 to the far end of the north side of the Hall, just to the left of the Courtroom doors.
  • Courtroom friezes: The South Wall Frieze includes figures of lawgivers from the ancient world and includes Menes, Hammurabi, Moses, Solomon, Lycurgus, Solon, Draco, Confucius, and Augustus. The North Wall Frieze shows lawgivers from the Middle Ages on and includes representations of Justinian, Muhammad, Charlemagne, John, King of England, Louis IX of France, Hugo Grotius, Sir William Blackstone, John Marshall, and Napoleon. The Moses frieze depicts him holding the Ten Commandments, although only commandments six through ten, usually considered the more secular commands, are visible. In 1997, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) asked for the image of Muhammad to be removed from the marble frieze of the façade. While appreciating that Muhammad was included in the court's pantheon of 18 prominent lawgivers of history, CAIR noted that Islam discourages depictions of Muhammad in any artistic representation. CAIR also objected that Muhammad was shown with a sword, which they claimed reinforced stereotypes of Muslims as intolerant conquerors. Chief Justice William Rehnquist rejected the request to sandblast Muhammad, saying the artwork "was intended only to recognize him, among many other lawgivers, as an important figure in the history of law; it is not intended as a form of idol worship". The court later added a footnote to tourist materials, calling it "a well-intentioned attempt by the sculptor to honor Muhammad".[29]
United States Supreme Court Building Front Door photo D Ramey Logan

United States Supreme Court bronze doors.

Inside the United States Supreme Court

The Supreme Court courtroom interior with its Siena marble.

Supreme Court Wade 33

View of the Alabama marble in the hallway.

USA - Supreme Court

One of two self-supporting spiral staircases in Alabama marble.


Equal Justice Under Law over the western façade.

Supreme court east facade

Justice the Guardian of Liberty over the eastern façade.


Flagpole base.


The Contemplation of Justice statue.

Supreme Court2

The Authority of Law statue.

Washington DC view1

Aerial view of Washington D.C., showing position of the courthouse (lower left) in relation to the Capitol building.

Public access to the building

On May 3, 2010, citing security concerns and as part of the building's modernization project, the Supreme Court announced that the public (including parties to the cases being argued, the attorneys who represent them, and visitors to Oral arguments or the building) would no longer be allowed to enter the building through the main door on top of the steps on the west side.[30] Visitors must now enter through ground-level doors located at the plaza, leading to a reinforced area for security screening. The main doors at the top of the steps may still be used to exit the building.[30] Justice Breyer released a statement, joined by Justice Ginsburg, expressing his opinion that although he recognizes the security concerns that led to the decision, he does not believe on balance that the closure is justified.[31] Calling the decision "dispiriting", he said he was not aware of any Supreme Court in the world that had closed its main entrance to the public.[31]

All visitors to the Court must pass through metal-detectors and have their belongings X-rayed. Cameras are permitted in the building, but no recording devices of any kind, audio, or visual, are ever permitted in the Courtroom. When the Court is not in session, visitors can walk through the Great Hall and public areas on the ground floor, including the cafeteria and a small movie theater presenting a documentary of the Court, and guided lectures are periodically given in the Courtroom, which is not otherwise accessible. The schedule for the lectures can be confirmed on the Court's website the day before a visit. The line for these tours forms in a designated area to the side of the Courtroom doors.[32]

When the Court is in session, the Great Hall is not open to the public, except for those attending Court. The arguments are typically held in two-week cycles of a 10 A.M. and 11 A.M. argument on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.[33] Depending on the significance of the case and the time of year (winter arguments are less popular), visitors should arrive at the Court anywhere from two hours in advance to, in extremely controversial cases, the night before. At some point in the morning, which is not predetermined, the Supreme Court Police Officers distribute numbered tickets. These serve as place-holders only and not a guarantee of admission. Visitors who have tickets may leave the area and return at the appointed time to line up in numerical order, usually one hour before the argument. At this time, there usually are several hundred persons waiting outside the Court, most of whom are not able to observe either argument.[34] While the Courtroom does have seating for some 250 public visitors, in practice there are almost always large groups of students or officials that reduce that number, and visitors who are admitted to observe the first argument generally stay for the second argument, making the total seats available for the second argument generally very small. Just before the first argument, the officers divide the crowd into two lines: one is for those waiting with tickets to observe the entire argument, while the other is to observe a five-minute span of the argument while standing in the back of the Courtroom. Both lines remain in place during the first argument. Visitors must stand when the Justices enter and leave, and remain absolutely silent. Drowsy, noisy, or otherwise disruptive visitors are promptly removed by plainclothes officers.[32]

Since recording devices have been banned inside the courtroom, the fastest way for decisions of landmark cases to reach the press is through the Running of the Interns.[35]

On Sunday, January 13, 2002, a wild fox wandered into the building. Although spotted by a police officer and observed on video cameras, the fox eluded capture for more than a day.[36]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Supreme Court Building". National Historic Landmarks Program. National Park Service. Archived from the original on December 26, 2011. Retrieved June 18, 2009.
  2. ^ "Photos, exterior and interior, of the U.S. Supreme Court Building". National Park Service. Note that photos but not National Historic Landmark nomination text, if any exists, are available on-line.
  3. ^ Nelson, Garrison. Pathways to the US Supreme Court: From the Arena to the Monastery. , 2013. Print.
  4. ^ a b c d e The Supreme Court of the United States: Its Beginnings & Its Justices, 1790-1991. , 1992. Print.
  5. ^ Lucille A. Roussin*. "SYMPOSIUM: THE CULTURAL IDENTITY AND LEGAL PROTECTION OF ART: The Temple of American Justice: The United States Supreme Court Building." Chapman Law Review, 20, 51 Winter, 2017. https://advance-lexis-com.erl.lib.byu.edu/api/document?collection=analytical-materials&id=urn:contentItem:5NFD-5H10-00B1-815K-00000-00&context=1516831.
  6. ^ a b c d "Overview of the Supreme Court Building". United States Supreme Court. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
  7. ^ Rehnquist, William H. (2001). The Supreme Court (2nd ed.). Vintage Books. p. 24. ISBN 0-375-70861-8.
  8. ^ "Study for Woolworth Building, New York". World Digital Library. December 10, 1910. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  9. ^ Rehnquist, William H. The Supreme Court. New York: Knopf, 2001. Print.
  10. ^ a b Baum, Lawrence. The Supreme Court. , 2019. Print.
  11. ^ a b Schwartz, Bernard. A History of the Supreme Court. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
  12. ^ Robert Post. "ARTICLE:The Supreme Court Opinion as Institutional Practice: Dissent, Legal Scholarship, and Decisionmaking in the Taft Court." Minnesota Law Review, 85, 1267 May, 2001. https://advance-lexis-com.erl.lib.byu.edu/api/document?collection=analytical-materials&id=urn:contentItem:43C5-GK20-00CW-81K9-00000-00&context=1516831.
  13. ^ a b Schwartz, Bernard. A History of the Supreme Court. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
  14. ^ a b Maroon, Fred J, and Suzy Maroon. The Supreme Court of the United States. New York: Thomasson-Grant & Lickle, 1996. Print.
  15. ^ a b c Douglas, William O. The Court Years, 1939-1975: The Autobiography of William O. Douglas. New York: Random House, 1980. Print.
  16. ^ By Tracy W. Cary. "ARTICLE: OYEZ! OYEZ! OYEZ! ADMISSION TO THE BAR OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA." The Alabama Lawyer, July, 2004. https://advance-lexis-com.erl.lib.byu.edu/api/document?collection=analytical-materials&id=urn:contentItem:4D3R-1450-00BT-414N-00000-00&context=1516831.
  17. ^ Baum, Lawrence. The Supreme Court, 2019. Print.
  18. ^ Warren, Earl. “Chief Justice William Howard Taft.” The Yale Law Journal, vol. 67, no. 3, 1958, pp. 353–362. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/793882.
  19. ^ Maroon, Fred J, and Suzy Maroon. The Supreme Court of the United States. New York: Thomasson-Grant & Lickle, 1996. Print.
  20. ^ Robert Post. "ARTICLE:The Supreme Court Opinion as Institutional Practice: Dissent, Legal Scholarship, and Decisionmaking in the Taft Court." Minnesota Law Review, 85, 1267 May, 2001. https://advance-lexis-com.erl.lib.byu.edu/api/document?collection=analytical-materials&id=urn:contentItem:43C5-GK20-00CW-81K9-00000-00&context=1516831.
  21. ^ Lucille A. Roussin*. "SYMPOSIUM: THE CULTURAL IDENTITY AND LEGAL PROTECTION OF ART: The Temple of American Justice: The United States Supreme Court Building." Chapman Law Review, 20, 51 Winter, 2017. https://advance-lexis-com.erl.lib.byu.edu/api/document?collection=analytical-materials&id=urn:contentItem:5NFD-5H10-00B1-815K-00000-00&context=1516831.
  22. ^ Schwartz, Bernard. A History of the Supreme Court. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
  23. ^ Thomas, Ryland; Williamson, Samuel H. (2019). "What Was the U.S. GDP Then?". MeasuringWorth. Retrieved April 6, 2019. United States Gross Domestic Product deflator figures follow the Measuring Worth series.
  24. ^ "History of the Court: Homes of the Court". supremecourthistory.org. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  25. ^ Tomlins, Christopher (2005). The United States Supreme Court: The Pursuit of Justice (1st ed.). Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-618-32969-2.
  26. ^ "Supreme Court West Façade Restoration". Architect of the Capitol. June 5, 2013. Retrieved June 19, 2013.
  27. ^ Liptak, Adam; Purdum, Todd S. (July 31, 2005). "As Clerk for Rehnquist, Nominee Stood Out for Conservative Rigor". The New York Times. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  28. ^ Kay, Stanley. "The Highest Court in the Land". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  29. ^ Mauro, Tony (March 2, 2005). "The Supreme Court's Own Commandments". law.com. Retrieved November 2, 2008.
  30. ^ a b Arnsberg, Kathy (May 3, 2010). "Press release on new visitor entrance" (Word) (Press release). Retrieved May 6, 2010 – via SCOTUSblog.
  31. ^ a b "Statement Concerning the Supreme Court's Front Entrance; memorandum by Justice Breyer" (PDF). May 3, 2010. Retrieved May 6, 2010 – via SCOTUSblog.
  32. ^ a b "Plan Your Visit – Supreme Court of the United States". Supreme Court of the United States. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  33. ^ "Visitor's Guide to Oral Argument". Supreme Court of the United States. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  34. ^ "The Court Building: Supreme Court of the United States". Supreme Court of the United States. October 13, 1932. Retrieved August 2, 2012.
  35. ^ Kessler, Robert. "Why Aren't Cameras Allowed at the Supreme Court Again?". The Atlantic. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  36. ^ Biskupic, Joan (January 15, 2002). "Sly intruder infiltrates Supreme Court". USA Today. pp. A3. Retrieved November 2, 2008.

External links

Abraham M. Radcliffe

Abraham M. Radcliffe (1827–1886) was an architect born in New York City. He opened a Minneapolis office in 1857 and a St. Paul office in 1858. He closed his Minneapolis office in 1868. He designed early commercial buildings in St. Paul and Minneapolis, as well as the Dakota County Courthouse in Hastings, Minnesota. Radcliffe inspired the architectural career of Cass Gilbert, the skyscraper pioneer who designed the Woolworth Building in New York City and the United States Supreme Court building, among many important public structures.Radcliffe designed the Isaac Staples House in Stillwater, Minnesota, in 1875. This was a tall stone mansard-roofed mansion which dominated the bluff on what is now Pioneer Park. He built several other large residences on Summit Avenue. These include the Charles Paul House, mildy Italianate in style, built in 1882 and the Walter J. S. Traill/Homer P. Clark House, Victorian in style, built in 1882. He designed the William G. LeDuc House in Hastings in 1863-66, the Philo Q. Boyden House in Hudson, Wisconsin, in 1879, and St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in 1884.

Arshag Karagheusian

Arshag Karagheusian (Armenian: Արշակ Կարագյոզյան December 4, 1872 - September 24, 1963) was an Armenian rug manufacturer and co-owner of A. & M. Karagheusian, Inc.. He also served as the head of the Armenian General Benevolent Union becoming its 4th president from 1943 to 1952, after Boghos Nubar, Calouste Gulbenkian and Zareh Nubar.

Broadway–Chambers Building

The Broadway–Chambers Building, located at 277 Broadway on the northwest corner of Chambers Street in the Civic Center / TriBeCa neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, was constructed from 1899 to 1900, and was architect Cass Gilbert's first design in the city. The 18-story office building is designed in the Beaux-Arts style.On the building's completion in 1900, the critic Montgomery Schuyler said that it was "...the summation of that type of design of a tall building," and in 1998 Herbert Muschamp wrote in The New York Times of Gilbert's design:

[He] refined the proportions between [the building's] elements and articulated them by using different materials for each: stone base, brick shaft, terra cotta crown. The brickwork, red flecked with blue, is especially fine. In contrast with the light-colored stone and terra cotta, it gives an almost colonial feel to an otherwise classically conceived structure. Garlands, cornucopias and a polychrome penthouse arcade garnish the composition.

The building incorporates one of Gilbert's trademarks, the extensive use of architectural sculpture on the cornice of the arcade at the top of the building, which includes the heads of lions and women. Gilbert went on to be one of the pre-eminent architects of his time, designing the Woolworth Building and the United States Supreme Court building, among many others.Several companies collaborated to create an exhibit about the construction of the building at the Paris Exposition of 1900.The Broadway–Chambers Building was designated a New York City landmark in 1992.

Cass Gilbert

Cass Gilbert (November 24, 1859 – May 17, 1934) was a prominent American architect. An early proponent of skyscrapers, his works include the Woolworth Building, the United States Supreme Court building, the state capitols of Minnesota, Arkansas and West Virginia; and the Saint Louis Art Museum and Public Library. His public buildings in the Beaux Arts style reflect the optimistic American sense that the nation was heir to Greek democracy, Roman law and Renaissance humanism. Gilbert's achievements were recognized in his lifetime; he served as president of the American Institute of Architects in 1908–09.

Gilbert was a conservative who believed architecture should reflect historic traditions and the established social order. His design of the new Supreme Court building (1935), with its classical lines and small size, contrasted sharply with the large federal buildings going up along the National Mall in Washington, D.C., which he disliked.Heilbrun says "Gilbert's pioneering buildings injected vitality into skyscraper design, and his 'Gothic skyscraper,' epitomized by the Woolworth Building, profoundly influenced architects during the first decades of the twentieth century." Christen and Flanders note that his reputation among architectural critics went into eclipse during the age of modernism, but has since rebounded because of "respect for the integrity and classic beauty of his masterworks".

Detroit Public Library

The Detroit Public Library is the second largest library system in the U.S. state of Michigan by volumes held (after the University of Michigan Library) and is the 21st largest library system (and the fourth-largest public library system) in the United States. It is composed of the Main Library on Woodward Avenue, which houses the library's administration offices, and 23 branch locations across the city. The Main Library is part of Detroit's Cultural Center Historic District listed in the National Register of Historic Places adjacent to Wayne State University campus and across from the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Designed by Cass Gilbert, the Detroit Public Library was constructed with Vermont marble and serpentine Italian marble trim in an Italian Renaissance style. His son, Cass Gilbert, Jr. was a partner with Francis J. Keally in the design of the library's additional wings added in 1963. Among his other buildings, Cass Gilbert designed the United States Supreme Court Building in Washington, DC, the Minnesota State Capitol and the Woolworth Building in New York City.

Equal justice under law

Equal justice under law is a phrase engraved on the front of the United States Supreme Court building in Washington D.C. It is also a societal ideal that has influenced the American legal system.

The phrase was proposed by the building's architects, and then approved by judges of the Court in 1932. It is based upon Fourteenth Amendment jurisprudence, and has historical antecedents dating back to ancient Greece.

Hermon Atkins MacNeil

Hermon Atkins MacNeil (February 27, 1866 – October 2, 1947) was an American sculptor born in Everett, Massachusetts. He is known for designing the Standing Liberty quarter, and for sculpting Justice, the Guardian of Liberty on the east pediment of the United States Supreme Court building.

Index of Washington, D.C.–related articles

The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to the United States District of Columbia, commonly known as Washington, D.C.

James Buchanan Memorial

The James Buchanan Memorial is a bronze and granite memorial in the Southeast corner of Meridian Hill Park Northwest, Washington, D.C. It was designed by architect William Gorden Beecher, and sculpted by Maryland artist Hans Schuler.

Commissioned in 1916, but not approved by the U.S. Congress until 1918, it was completed and unveiled June 26, 1930. The memorial features a statue of Buchanan bookended by male and female classical figures representing law and diplomacy, engraved with text from a member of Buchanan's cabinet, Jeremiah S. Black: The incorruptible statesman whose walk was upon the mountain ranges of the law.

The memorial in the nation's capital complemented an earlier monument, constructed in 1907–08 and dedicated in 1911, on the site of Buchanan's birthplace in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania.

James Earle Fraser (sculptor)

James Earle Fraser (November 4, 1876 – October 11, 1953) was an American sculptor during the first half of the 20th century. His work is integral to many of Washington, D.C.'s most iconic structures.

Lifewatch, Taskforce of United Methodists on Abortion and Sexuality

Founded in 1987, Lifewatch, Taskforce of United Methodists on Abortion and Sexuality (TUMAS) is a 501 (c)(3) organization that serves as the unofficial pro-life group within the United Methodist Church. The organization publishes a quarterly newsletter titled Lifewatch and is a member of the National Pro-Life Religious Council. The organization also frequently holds seminars to address within Methodist Christianity the theological, moral, and social aspects of defending women and their unborn children from abortion. It is committed to reversing the Roe v. Wade decision "by first providing theological leadership within the church, which will set an example that political, legal and cultural forces will follow."In May 2012 at the General Conference of the United Methodist Church (UMC), Lifewatch encouraged legislation to direct two church agencies—the General Board of Church and Society and United Methodist Women—to withdraw from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC). Along with other mainline Protestant and religious counterparts, the two UMC agencies formed RCRC in 1973, then known as the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights (RCAR). Until 1993, RCAR operated from the United Methodist Building across from the United States Supreme Court Building where Harry Blackmun, a "devout" Methodist, served as Associate Justice. Today, RCRC continues to function as a 501(c)(3) educational group promoting a controversial "theology of choice." It also operates as a 501(c)(4) political organization lobbying against legislation limiting the legal right to abortion on demand.

In 2012, the petition to end official UMC agency connections with RCRC passed through the legislative subcommittee and committee votes, but was not given a floor vote. Rev. Paul T. Stallsworth, president of the Taskforce of United Methodists on Abortion and Sexuality, said he "had every reason to believe" that pro-life delegates would have won a floor vote.On 19 May 2016, the General Conference of the UMC passed legislation to direct the two RCRC-member agencies to withdraw immediately. The motion was approved with a 425-268 vote difference. Statements of resignation were subsequently issued by both Church and Society and United Methodist Women.At the same General Conference, delegates voted to delete a four-decade-old statement from the Book of Resolutions that had affirmed the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. The ruling removed any state restrictions against abortion that did not meet a standard of "strict scrutiny," which resulted in Blackmum receiving letters of condemnation from Methodist clergymen. By the time General Conference convened in 2016, over 44,000,000 abortions had been performed with a 400% increase in out-of-wedlock births.The new resolution was overwhelmingly re-adopted 56-2 (97,3 percent), decrying gender-selective abortion, describing abortion as "violent" and opposing it for "trivial reasons." This was seen as a major win that restored a pro-life perspective within Methodism.Over a century ago, Methodists were known for their commitment in supporting mothers with unplanned pregnancies, Several abortion-prevention and pro-adoption ministries are continuing today. Nevertheless, the Oregon-Idaho, California-Nevada, New England, New York and the Pacific-Northwest Annual Conferences all voted to join RCRC on their own in spite of Methodism's polity of Connexionalism.Consequently, in 2016, Lifewatch began linking the "theology of choice" that has been contributing to the breakdown of society through abortion with the fragmentation of UMC polity leading to schism.

List of National Historic Landmarks in Washington, D.C.

The District of Columbia, capital of the United States, is home to 74 National Historic Landmarks. The National Historic Landmark program is operated under the auspices of the National Park Service, and recognizes structures, districts, objects, and similar resources according to a list of criteria of national significance. The city's landmarks reflect its status as the national capital, including grand government buildings, homes of politicians, military facilities, and museums. The list also includes sites relating to support for the disabled, the Civil Rights Movement, pioneering urban infrastructure, and other historic themes.

National Historic Landmarks are normally listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Washington is home to three specifically legislated exceptions to this rule: the White House, the United States Capitol, and the United States Supreme Court Building. All are designated landmarks, but are not on the National Register.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Washington, D.C.

This is a list of properties and districts in the District of Columbia on the National Register of Historic Places. There are more than 600 listings, including 74 National Historic Landmarks of the United States and another 13 places otherwise designated as historic sites of national importance by Congress or the President.The locations of National Register properties and districts (at least for all showing latitude and longitude coordinates below), may be seen in an online map by clicking on "Map of all coordinates".The list is generally grouped by quadrant. The Northwest Quadrant has more than 400 listings, so it is further divided into three parts. The part of the NW Quadrant nearest the National Mall (east of Rock Creek and south of M Street) is grouped with the Southwest quadrant and called "central Washington" for the purposes of this list. The remaining sections are of the NW Quadrant are divided between areas east of Rock Creek and areas to its west. The following are approximate tallies of current listings by area.Note that the White House, the Capitol, and the United States Supreme Court Building are recorded in the National Register's NRIS database as National Historic Landmarks, but by the provisions of the Historic Preservation Act of 1966, Section 107 (16 U.S.C. 470g), these three buildings and associated buildings and grounds are legally exempted from listing in the National Register.

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted May 17, 2019.

Seat of government

The seat of government is (as defined by Brewer's Politics) "the building, complex of buildings or the city from which a government exercises its authority".In most countries, the nation’s capital is also seat of its of government, thus that city is appropriately referred to as the national seat of government. The terms are not however, completely synonymous, as some countries' seat of government differs from the capital. The Netherlands, for example, has Amsterdam as its capital but The Hague is the seat of government; and the Philippines, with Manila as its capital but National Capital Region (NCR) is the seat of government.

Local and regional authorities usually have a seat, called an administrative centre, as well.

Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights

The Second National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights was a large political rally that took place in Washington, D.C. on October 11, 1987. Its success, size, scope, and historical importance have led to it being called, "The Great March". It marked the first national coverage of ACT UP, with AIDS activists prominent in the main march, as well as making headlines the next day during mass civil disobedience actions at the United States Supreme Court Building.

St. Joseph's Catholic Church (Washington, D.C.)

St. Joseph's Catholic Church, also commonly known as St. Joseph's on Capitol Hill, is a parish of the Roman Catholic Church in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C., in the Archdiocese of Washington. The church is located less than half a mile from the United States Capitol Building and United States Supreme Court Building.

The church was founded by German immigrants. On October 25, 1868 when a reported crowd of 20,000 people, including President Andrew Johnson, came to lay the cornerstone. The architect was from Cologne, Germany and modeled St. Joseph's design after the Cologne Cathedral. The church was constructed of brown stone from Hershey, Pennsylvania and cost $75,000 to build. It was dedicated on January 18, 1891. Masses were originally said in German until Italian immigrant stonemasons working on expansion of the Capitol began joining the congregation. The church underwent an extensive renovation and restoration beginning in 2002.The church's proximity to the Supreme Court, Capitol, and congressional office buildings have attracted many members of Congress, congressional staffers, and Supreme Court justices to daily Mass. St. Joseph is located on the Senate side of the Capitol, and is commonly known as the Senate church, while its counterpart on the House side of the Capitol, St. Peter's, is commonly known as the House church. Those known to attend daily Mass at St. Joseph's include Senator John E. Kenna, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Senator Ted Kennedy, and Antonin Scalia. In 2017, the church began holding an annual "Gold Mass" for congressional staffers.

Supreme court building

The term "Supreme court building" refers to buildings housing supreme courts in a number of countries, including the following:

Present supreme court buildingsCanada – Supreme Court Building

India – Supreme Court Building

Israel – Supreme Court Building

Pakistan – Supreme Court Building

Singapore – Supreme Court Building

United Kingdom – Supreme Court Building

United States – United States Supreme Court Building

Puerto Rico (U.S. territory) – Supreme Court Building (Puerto Rico)Former supreme court buildingsGermany – Imperial Supreme Court Building

Hong Kong – Old Supreme Court Building, Hong Kong

Singapore – Old Supreme Court Building, Singapore

Sylacauga marble

Sylacauga marble, also commonly known as Alabama marble, is a marble that is found in a belt running through Talladega County, Alabama. It is prized for its pure white color and its crystalline structure. The stone is named after the town of Sylacauga, Alabama, which is sometimes called "the Marble City". Sylacauga marble has been called the "world's whitest". Discovered in 1814, it has been mined for over 160 years, and is used for building, sculpture, and industry. The Alabama Legislature passed Act 755 on September 12, 1969, which made this marble the state's official rock.

Walker Hancock

Walker Kirtland Hancock (June 28, 1901 – December 30, 1998) was an American sculptor and teacher. He created notable monumental sculptures, including the Pennsylvania Railroad World War II Memorial (1950–52) at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the World War I Soldiers' Memorial (1936–38) in St. Louis, Missouri. He made major additions to the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, including Christ in Majesty (1972), the bas relief over the High Altar. Works by him are at the United States Military Academy (West Point), the Library of Congress, the United States Supreme Court Building, and the United States Capitol.

During World War II, he was one of the Monuments Men, who recovered art treasures looted by the Nazis. Hancock was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1989 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1990.

The Court
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