Communications Office:
David Bookstaver, Director
Mai Yee, Assistant Director
(212) 428-2500

Date: May 12, 1999

Seal of the Unified Court System
Includes Plan to Develop First New Supreme Criminal Courthouse in Manhattan in Over 50 Years
NEW YORK - Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani announced today an agreement on an amendment to the City's master plan for the construction and renovation of courthouses in the City. The new plan comprises extensive renovation and construction that will span all five boroughs and includes a plan for review and development of a new Supreme Court, Criminal Branch, Courthouse in Manhattan located at 101 Centre Street.

This program will be financed by the State Dormitory Authority (DASNY), which issued $417 million in bonds in 1993 for the court program and is expected to issue additional bonds this summer and again in 2000. The City will be responsible for the debt service on the bonds, with some State aid. However, the bonds will not count against the City's debt cap, and DASNY financing is expected to save the City and the State millions of dollars over the life of the bonds.

Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye said, "The appearance and condition of a courthouse should reflect, not detract from, the gravity and seriousness of the business conducted within. Dilapidated, deteriorated courthouses have long been an unfortunate fixture in New York City, threatening to erode the public's respect for the courts and the judicial process. The City's new court improvement plan continues the City's commitment toward suitable and dignified court facilities and is a major financial commitment by the City. I applaud and thank Mayor Giuliani for his leadership on this important issue."
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said, "This agreement underscores the City's ongoing commitment to suitable and proper court facilities. I am pleased that the City and the court system have reached an agreement that will continue our achievements in meeting that goal. I look forward to joining Chief Judge Kaye over the next years at ceremonies marking the commencement of construction on new court projects in every borough."
The plan amendment updates the City's master plan for the courts and addresses many of the problems that have slowed or stymied timely advancement of that plan. Highlights of the City's new courthouse construction program include:
A new conceptual plan for Manhattan, to be further developed by the State Dormitory Authority, the City and the court system, will provide: 

  • A new courthouse to be built at 101 Centre Street for the Supreme Court, Criminal Branch 
  • Renovation of practically all existing courthouses in Manhattan: Family, Criminal, Civil and Supreme Civil Courts 
  • Acquisition of 71 Thomas Street as a court facility to house additional Supreme Court, Civil Branch, courtrooms 
  • Renovation of 80 Centre Street to house court-related agencies, such as the District Attorney's Office 
  • Construction of a 72-courtroom, combined Supreme Criminal and Family Court facility at 330 Jay Street, scheduled for early 2000 
  • Renovations of the Housing, Civil and Supreme Civil Courthouses and the Brooklyn Central Court at 120 Schermerhorn Street 
  • Construction of a new Family Court on Archer Avenue in Jamaica, with groundbreaking expected in early summer 
  • Addition of a 23-courtroom annex to the existing Queens Criminal Courthouse in Kew Gardens 
  • Renovation of the Supreme Courthouse in Jamaica 
  • Construction of 47-courtroom facility for the Supreme Court, Criminal Branch, on 161st Street, scheduled to begin in 2000 
Staten Island
  • Construction of a combined Criminal-Family Court Complex in Staten Island 
In addition to the specific projects in each borough, there will be Citywide improvements of existing courthouses involving modernization of building infrastructure, including Americans with Disabilities Act compliance, fire-safety projects, elevator modernization, electrical upgrades, air conditioning improvements, and enhanced security. A Citywide Records Storage Facility will be created to relieve space pressures in existing court buildings.

Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman said, "The City's new plan represents the latest in a series of significant steps this administration has taken to improve courthouse facilities. In just the last few years, we have had the pleasure of opening up a number of modern new courthouses throughout the City and making necessary renovations in several others. I thank the City for its cooperation in working to provide the citizens of New York City decent courthouse facilities befitting the administration of justice and look forward to the expansion of this effort throughout all five boroughs."
Under State law, the City's revised plan is subject to approval by the Court Capital Facilities Review Board, which consists of Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman, as well as John O'Mara, who represents the Governor, Senator James Lack, who represents the Senate majority, and Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, who represents the Assembly majority. The plan is expected to be presented to the Board this month.

Web page updated: August 16, 2006