Monday, January 5, 2009


The Manhattan Supreme Court building, in Foley Square, located at 60 Centre Street between Worth and Pearl Streets, is one of several Federal and State courthouses in downtown Manhattan.   It was erected over the course of six years, from 1919 to 1925, and officially became the seat of the New York County Supreme Court in 1927.  Although there are a few courtrooms in nearby buildings, this is the main building in Manhattan where civil lawsuits (such as personal injury or contract cases) over $50,000, and felony criminal cases, are handled.

The building features classic roman architecture.  The exterior is a clean granite facade, adorned by tall Corinthian columns, and capped by a triangular relief.   The building also features a 100-foot wide staircase, which has been featured in countless movies.  

Adjascent to the Courthouse is Foley Square Park, which features a large piece of medern art, the "Triumph of the Human Spirit Memorial."  Whenever the courthouse is open, there is an outdoor cafe, serving pizza and a variety of sandwiches, as well as a standard hotdog and/or breakfast cart.  

As you enter the Courthouse, the courthouse lobby is capped by a frescoed dome, depicting classic "legal" figures such as Moses and Hamurabi, and encircled by more Corinthian colums.  Each floor has a main circular walkway, with smaller corridors jutting off like spokes.  At the end of each corridor are two courtrooms.  The basement is also a public space, and houses the County Clerk's office. 

To reach the New York County Supreme Court by subway, take the 2/3 to Chambers Street and walk three blocks East, or take the 4/5 to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall.  

---- Links to my other Courthouse Posts ----

1 comment:

  1. Scott:

    How did you get those photos of the inside of the courthouse? Did you seek permission or just shoot them with a cell-phone camera?