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Edward W. Brooke Courthouse (New Chardon Street Courthouse)
As a building type central to the American experience, whether rural or urban, the Edward W. Brooke Courthouse occupies a prominent place. Once readily distinguishable by its stepped classical portico, a variation on a Greek Revival theme, its uniqueness extended, too, to the grand Richardsonian courthouse. Today, new functions demand a fresh image keeping in mind its symbolic role and historic associations. In addition, such public amenities as day care, food services, and, not least, public access demanding tightened security are now built into the program.
Striving for a welcoming civic presence, the architects aimed to create the appearance of a public building, yet one that would interact with the community. They interpreted classical features in a modern mode, adding a street arcade on the rear side and a “protective” projecting cornice. The courthouse fills the corner space left by the long-incomplete adjacent Health and Human Service Building (GC23). Natural light lends a cheerful atmosphere to the courtrooms, as does the airiness, a result of the impressive central space.
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