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M. Dolores Denman Courthouse
The courthouse of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, is located at 50 East Avenue in downtown Rochester. On April 14, 2000, a ceremony was held naming the courthouse in memory of the Honorable M. Dolores Denman, former Presiding Justice, who was instrumental in locating the facility in Rochester's East End and who inspired the construction and design of the elegant building that is a source of pride for the entire community. The courthouse facility includes courtrooms, judicial chambers, the Office of the Clerk of the Court, the offices of the Court's auxiliary agencies and the Appellate Division Law Library, the only Appellate Division Law Library in the State open to the general public.
Justice Denman was appointed as Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Fourth
Department in 1991 by Governor Mario Cuomo. She served as Presiding Justice until she retired shortly before her death in January 2000. Justice
Denman was the first woman appointed to serve as Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division.
At a celebration following the first term of Court held in the new courthouse, Justice Denman said:
Today, this official celebration marks the fulfillment of a promise I made to myself seven years ago when I became Presiding Justice: to enable the Court to have a facility appropriate for the serious matters that are brought before it. We sought to build a facility that reflects the dignity and loftiness of purpose that we strive to achieve in resolving the complex legal and social problems that form the fabric of our work.
Former Chief Judge Judith Kaye, in remarks delivered at the courthouse dedication ceremony said:
“As Winston Churchill said, ‘We shape our buildings and then our buildings shape us.’ Those words have special meaning today because how this building was shaped, indeed the very existence of this building is so closely linked to who shaped it. Judge Denman’s fine hand and exquisite taste are everywhere evident. She has, in myriad ways, shaped this house of justice, this exemplary Appellate Division, Fourth Department, and it reflects her extraordinary personality.
It is elegant; a judicial showcase full of beauty and style, yet it is also highly substantive, functional, practical, ready for the give and take of appellate advocacy, accessible to parties and to the public, the very best of American justice. With its arches and pillars and classical lines, this building is clearly respectful of the past, but like Judge Denman, it is in no sense highbrowed or retrograde or old-fashioned. This courthouse artfully blends the richness of our past with the promise of our future. Columns and computers, marble and microphones, replevin and livery of season alongside e-commerce Cardozo.com. But above all the feeling that pervades this courthouse is one of respect and dignity, a respect and dignity of the place that matches that of the person who conceived and loved and nurtured it.”