The U.S. Courthouse

The U.S. Courthouse 501 W 5th St

Architectural Austin/The U.S. Courthouse
Austin History Center
Written By Austin History Center

The Austin History Center's mission is to procure, preserve, present and provide the historical records that make up Austin's unique story.

a courthouse or a piece of art?

The courthouse, although a place of serious government business, is a must-see for anybody who appreciates beauty and innovation in architectural design!

The glass and stone structure sits in downtown Austin next to Republic Square Park, and its cool chunky cube design makes it an architectural standout in the city landscape.

The architects

The team at Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects wanted to reflect the strength and integrity of the American judicial system with their plan. Thus, the innovative cube design. They made sure that in designing the interior they gave serious consideration to the comfort of the people who would work and visit day to day. Judges, attorneys, court clerks, jurors, witnesses, and others enjoy the plentiful natural light. All of the jury deliberation rooms, courtrooms, chambers, public spaces, and witness/attorney conference rooms are situated in abundantly windowed spaces.

stained glass installation by clifford ross

In the lobby of the courthouse site, is a beautiful stained glass piece created by Clifford Ross. The artwork alone justifies a visit to the courthouse. Clifford Ross is a painter, sculptor, photographer, inventor, and multimedia artist from New York City. Ross's Greenwich Village home is like a laboratory of artistic expression. Before the stained glass that graces the wall of the courthouse was made, Ross created colorful models to test his design. The piece is called "The Austin Wall" and is an impressive 800 square feet of translucent gorgeousness!

award winning!

The Courthouse has garnered the following honors and awards -- so far. 2014 GSA Honor Award, LEED Silver Certification, AIA South Atlantic Region Design Award. The architectural firm itself recently won the American Architecture Award.

Cover Photo: Austin Federal Courthouse by Counse via Flickr

Architectural Austin

The U.S. Courthouse

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