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Courthouses of the Second Circuit: Their Architecture, History, and Stories


The Federal Bar Council
Patricia A. McGovern and Michael P. Zweig, Editors
Marjorie Press Lindblom, Assoc. Editor
9.25x12 inches, 262 pp., over 220 illustrations.
Clothbound, dust jacket
ISBN: 978-0-926494-93-0
Available October 28, 2015

Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once observed that public architecture "is the bone and muscle of democracy.”  It is indeed fitting that Second Circuit Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann chose to highlight that image in his perceptive foreword to Courthouses of the Second Circuit.

The Second Judicial Circuit of the United States—comprising Connecticut, New York, and Vermont—has long been recognized for the important place it holds in American jurisprudence. Momentous cases have been heard by its district and appellate judges, ranging from the Amistad "mutiny” trial concerning whether African men and women who had been transported as slaves should be freed, to the emergency ruling by a newly-appointed judge on whether publication of the Pentagon Papers could be enjoined.  The cases decided in the Second Circuit mirror our nation’s history—in law, finance, politics, and culture. So, too, do the courthouses themselves. Evolving from single courtrooms in rented space in the earliest days to today’s dedicated courthouse buildings, they include Federal, Classical Revival, Romanesque, French Empire, Beaux Arts, Moderne, Art Deco and contemporary courthouses.

Bringing together architecture, history, and jurisprudence, Courthouses of the Second Circuit describes in vivid detail nineteen buildings in which the district and appellate judges of the Second Circuit do their work and discusses many historic courthouses no longer in use today. Written by members of the Federal Bar Council, and including over 220 photographs and illustrations, the book brings to life these courthouses, the work done there, and the ways in which the buildings and the cases heard in them reflect their time and place.



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