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Benchmarks: Journal of the New York State Unified Court System

Winter 2006

COURT CONSTRUCTION UPDATE

MANHATTAN FAMILY COURT

Originally built in 1974, the Family Court building in downtown Manhattan was in dire need of renovation. The entrance had little direct light and the lobby configuration impeded the flow of traffic to courtrooms and offices, while the dark, foreboding structure was hardly a welcoming sight for families - especially children - in distress.  
Manhattan Family Court Before
Manhattan Family Court Before: original facade
Photo: TED ERMANSONS

What's New? The courthouse has undergone a dramatic makeover, with a new, bright, cheerful stone and glass facade and a new lobby. The work represented phase one of a two-phase project and included roof repair and numerous upgrades on the ground floor, such as separate entrances for staff and the public, a renovated and expanded lobby, new offices for security, public restrooms, a newsstand and a children's center. A new infrastructure supports these areas, including new HVAC, plumbing, lighting, fire protection and security systems. The result: public spaces that are more user-friendly, light-filled and better suited to accommodating and monitoring large numbers of visitors at one time. What was once a cold monolith has been transformed into a welcoming presence for both staff and the public. Phase two involves renovation of courtrooms and public spaces on the upper floors.

new lobby   new facade
After: new exterior and lobby
Photo: TED ERMANSONS

In 2002, the Art Commission of the City of New York presented one of its 20th Annual Awards for Excellence in Design to the team that worked on the design for the facade renovation, which included the architect, the Administrative Judge of the New York City Family Court, and representatives of OCA, the New York State Dormitory Authority and several city agencies.

Architect: Mitchell Giurgola Architects, LLP
OCA Architect: Dave Patterson


ALBANY COUNTY JUDICIAL CENTER
Albany County has opened its second new courthouse in less than a year - the Albany County Judicial Center. (The Albany County Family Courthouse opened in the spring. See "Benchmarks," vol.1, issue 1.)  
Albany County Judicial Center
Albany County Judicial Center
PHOTO: BBL CONSTRUCTION
SERVICES, LLC

What's New? The 80,000 square foot Judicial Center includes four courtrooms for the County Court (which hears criminal cases) and court-support services, as well as space for the Sheriff's Department and the District Attorney. The new courthouse allows the County Court to relocate from the Albany County Courthouse, relieving the overcrowding in that historic building. The project included renovation of the historic Stedman House, adjoining the courthouse, for use by the Public Defender's Office. The final phase of the Albany County Court Master Plan, the renovation of the County Courthouse (which houses Supreme Court), is underway.

Architect: Crandell Associates


PUTNAM COUNTY COURTHOUSE GROUNDBREAKING

Putnam County will finally have a new courthouse. Most of the court facilities have for many years been crammed into the long, narrow County Office Building in Carmel. Visitors have to sit on benches in the narrow hallways, for lack of waiting rooms, and there are no attorney/client conference rooms.

Putnam County Courthouse
Artist's rendering of the
Putnam County Courthouse

ILLUSTRATION: PREISS/BREISSMEISTER P.C. ARCHITECTS

What's New? Ground has been broken for a new 50,000 square foot, four-story courthouse. It will house four courtrooms (one for Supreme Court, one for Family Court and two for County Court, all with waiting areas and conference rooms); a hearing room; a Commissioner of Jurors and jury assembly facility to accommodate 70 to 85 persons; prisoner holding facilities and a sallyport; a children's center; and ancillary agency offices. There is also space for an additional courtroom in the basement.

Architect: Preiss/Breismeister P.C. Architects
OCA Architect: Ed Rodman

Winter 2006 PDF Format
HTML Version:

State of the Judiciary Judicial Elections Report Summary Jury Trials Indigent Defense Services Multi-Hat Judge Matrimonial Commission Solo & Small Firm Practice Office of Self-Represented National Adoption Day Court Reporters Listening Conference Construction Update Historic Courthouses and Trials Did You Know? Judicial Institute Calendar UCS Katrina Fund Update Black History Month

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Web page updated: September 1, 2006 - www.NYCOURTS.gov