May 29, 2024


The Court was in various locations before the Civil War, and it was housed in the Old Senate Chamber from 1861 to 1935.

The same architect who built the Woolworth building in New York also designed The Supreme Court Building, which was designed with a neoclassical architectural style.

Chief Justice William Howard Taft led the drive for a Supreme Court building in the 1920s.

The 24 columns that are located inside the courtroom are made from marble and imported from Italy.

William Howard Taft was the only president who sat on the Court, but not the only presidential candidate.

The courtroom is lined with Spanish ivory-vein marble.

The justices really did “ride the circuit” and hear cases around the country.

The Supreme Court Building has its very own police force.

There have been 17 chief justices and hence, 17 “Courts.”

At the front (west) of the building are the words: Equal Justice Under the Law. At the east side are the words: Justice, the Guardian of Liberty.

The Roberts Court is the 17th Court on the books; the Jay Court was the first.

A 172 pound chunk of marble fell off the building and landed on the steps in 2005.

The Marshall Court was in session for 34 years, from 1801 until 1835.

In 2002 a wild fox entered the Supreme Court Building and it took more than 24 hours for it to be caught.

Chief Justice Roberts was 50 years of age when he took the oath in 2005, while Marshall was 45 years old when he became chief justice.

The Supreme Court Building stands 92 feet tall. It is 385 feet from the front to the back and it is 304 feet wide.

The main entrance to the Supreme Court Building is on the west side that faces the U.S. Capitol Building.

On the ground floor of the Supreme Court Building there is a clerk’s office, cafeteria and a gift shop.

Sixteen marble columns are below the triangle-shaped pediment, which contains a group of figures above the motto “Equal Justice Under Law.”

The second floor holds the courtroom, The Great Hall, and all but one of the judge’s chambers. One, the biggest one, is on the third floor.

Two marble statues by sculptor James Earle Fraser are on either side of the main entrance; on the left is a seated female figure called the “Contemplation of Justice,” and on the right is a seated male figure called the “Guardian or Authority of Law.”

The third floor holds the largest of the judge’s chambers, the decision reporter’s office, the reading room, the dining room, the legal office and the law clerk’s offices.

The bronze doors at the entrance weigh 6.5 tons, or 13,000 pounds, each.

On the fourth floor is the library and on the fifth floor is a basketball court and gym. The basement has a mailroom, and a parking garage.

The interior Great Hall is 91 feet long, 82 feet wide, and has a 44-foot high ceiling.

The basketball court is named: The Highest Court in the Land.

The marble used in the building comes from Alabama, Georgia, Vermont, and also from Italy and Spain.

In the courtroom there are images (friezes) of important lawgivers throughout history.

The foundation is 385 feet long and 304 feet wide.

Moses’ beard on his frieze covers up some of the words (Thou Shalt Not) of the Ten Commandments. Instead of Thou Shalt Not, some of the commandments say steal, kill and commit adultery.

The design of the Supreme Court building achieved a balance between classical grandeur and quiet dignity, appropriate for the nation’s highest court.

The Supreme Court hears cases that have been undecided in lower courts, or cases that may have been unfair, and is supposed to ensure every person is guaranteed their constitutional rights.

The Supreme Court was designed in a quieter, more reserved style now termed neoclassical revival.

The main entrance to the Supreme Court Building was closed to the public in 2010; the new entrance was moved to the ground-level doors at the plaza. However the main doors can still be used to exit.

Although the court room could have been larger, Taft wanted to preserve much of the intimacy that he liked in the court room in the U.S. Capitol Building. Above the court is the law library, an elegant room paneled in oak with carvings of appropriate emblems and allegorical figures.

The Supreme Court Building is closed to the public when the court is in session.

The Architect of the Capitol’s (AOC) Supreme Court Jurisdiction is responsible for building and grounds maintenance, historic preservation, structural and mechanical care, alterations, design, and construction of new facilities.

The Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson building is located next door.

First occupied on October 7, 1935, the Supreme Court building is a fitting home for the nation’s third branch of government.

The Supreme Court Building was designated a National Historic Landmark on May 4th, 1987, however it is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

John Marshall is only one of two justices to appear on U.S. currency.

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