Saturday, May 11, 2013
Last week, I conducted a large commercial trial before a jury. That's not unusual for me, but what was noteworthy was where I did it. The trial was in a courthouse you've all seen many times in movies and on television. The Supreme Court building at 60 Centre Street in Manhattan.
The courthouse was designed in the 1920's by famous architect Guy Lowell and hasn't changed since. I first remember going there as a new lawyer 30 years ago and being awed by its majesty. Inside, the courthouse has a large, open rotunda decorated with paintings on the ceiling. It is designed like a wheel, circular with spokes going out in every direction, at the end of which are courtrooms.
The building is magnificent. I wish, however, they'd spruce up the interior a little which, by now, is not only aged but poorly maintained. Water fountains don't work; there's no accommodation for computers or electronic devices. Newer courthouses are built for contemporary use and most are set up for modern technology. Then again, those buildings lack the character of 60 Centre Street.
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As soon as I saw the photo I thought of Law & Order. That is interesting that it is not actually for criminal cases. So many inaccuracies on TV!ReplyDelete
Character plus functionality make everything, including buildings, worth their salt.ReplyDelete
Although I have only ever seen this building on TV, I love it. It is so majestic.
I love those old buildings - the smells, the echoes, all the details. They just don't make them like that anymore. It's such a shame that they're getting so expensive to maintain, like you said.ReplyDelete
Wow! You were a lawyer at a trial that went all the way up to the Supreme Court?? That's major! I am very impressed!ReplyDelete
That building looks VERY court-y, I can see why the TV shows use it.
Oh what a cool job. Congrats on working a trial at the Supreme Court. Sometimes real life just doesn't match up with reality. And the reality is that building is very impressive! Guess that's why the tv people use it.ReplyDelete
I never thought about it before but now I can picture loads of conversations in films and TV programmes taking place on those steps. It never really occurred to me it was the same place they were using for most of them. xxReplyDelete
The film industry is such a sucker for visually stunning architecture. I can see why this Court is used so much, it's everything you think a Courthouse should be. It's a situation that reminds me of the R.C. Harris Filtration Plant (which is an imposing building complex outside of Toronto) that appears in a bunch of tv series and some movies (especially Canadian ones) because of it's impressive architecture.ReplyDelete
I'm a big L&O fan so I definitely recognize this building. I love learning the truths behind TV portrayals, like the fact that criminal cases aren't tried in this building. I enjoy pointing things like this out in anything shot in Chicago. Like when someone parks their car directly in front of a building downtown, or anywhere in Chicago, really. If there's legal street parking, the street will not be free of cars. The city recently shut down some streets in my neighborhood for shooting of Chicago Fire. Maybe I should watch the show to find inconsistencies...ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing, it's interesting to read the history of the building. It is funny that it 'matches' our expectations, as per film and tv, but that isn't quite accurate...ReplyDelete
Did you win your case?
Yup. Thanks for asking.Delete
Oh I 'know' that courthouse well! Love it. That must have been so awesome.ReplyDelete