E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse

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E. Barrett Prettyman United States Courthouse ( 640x480 )
The E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse was registered in the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. It is under federal protection in accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

The site on which the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse is now located was part of a 500 acre patent granted to Maryland Resident Richard Pinner. In July of 1790, Congress voted to establish a new federal city and the land on which the courthouse would be built was labeled "Reservation 10".

A bill for the provision of the new federal courthouse was introduced on November 16, 1945 by Senator Charles Andrews. The architect became Louis Justement, who generally conformed to the stripped classical styles and massing of the surrounding buildings. His work was approved on January 14, 1948, and ground was broken in August of 1949. On June 27, 1950, President Harry S. Truman laid the cornerstone, and the building opened in November of 1952.

The design accommodated all necessary court functions and activities within a single building. Louis Justement had to build building so he would give it adequate security and segregate public from private spaces and he managed to do it.

Sculptor C. Paul Jennewein received the commission for the building's most significant artwork. He chose Somes Sound granite for the trylon (an obelisk-like form, triangular in plan), which depicted deep figural reliefs in a vaguely cubist style. Two sides represent guarantees offered by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. The third side exhibits the seal of the United States, with portions of the Preamble of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence inscribed.

However, he was not the only one to deal with the artwork of the building. Artist Paul W. Bartlett created the bronze statue of Sir William Blackstone that stands to the east of the main entrance. The artist Sidney Waugh designed four figures representing historically significant lawgivers (Hammurabi, Moses, Solon and Justinian). They are standing in the Ceremonial Courtroom. Bronze plaques and reliefs were designed by Edwin Cooper Rust and Walker Hancock.

U.S. Courthouse was renamed the E. Barrett Prettyman Courthouse. E. Barrett Prettyman in March 1997. She served as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit from 1945-1971 and as Chief Judge from 1958-1960.
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