Sunday, July 24, 2005

The new federal courthouse makes waves

It is impossible not to stop and look at the new federal courthouse while walking in downtown Miami. It's huge. It's shaped like a ship. And it has its own waves. Seriously. The feds hired Maya Lin, the famed designer of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, to make these waves -- an "earth sculpture." Perhaps you've seen the huge dirt mounds dressed in bright green grass. (A couple of marshals told me that the waves are breaking in the wrong direction -- true?).

According to this Miami Herald article, the lawn around the courthouse is "a work of art, a security buffer and a place to loll on the grass." Criminal defense lawyers have already started joking about the courthouse being in the shape of a ship (i.e., if your client gets convicted, you can tell him Bon Voyage). Now add the green waves... ''It's meant to be inviting to the public,'' said U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore, who has helped oversee the courthouse project, scheduled for completion at year's end. ``I haven't actually sat on it yet, but the mounds are sculpted like back cushions.''

They say the courthouse is to open by the end of the year. Apparently, all the district judges will be moving in to the new courthouse, the magistrate judges will move into the tower building, the U.S. Attorney's Office will remain in the JLK building, and the folks in the Claude Pepper building will be filling in the old post office and the rest of the JLK. If aynone has more specifics about timing or space or anything else about the new courthouse, please post them in the comments.


Anonymous said...

I think it is unfortunate that the state is not getting a nice new criminal courthouse, too.

David Oscar Markus said...

I can't think of anyone who disagrees with that comment...