Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Judiciary Square in Northwest Washington in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

A Courthouse Reborn

Civil War to Civil Rights

— Downtown Heritage Trail —

 
 
A Courthouse Reborn Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), December 2, 2022
1. A Courthouse Reborn Marker
Inscription.  
The old City Hall/Courthouse endured hard use, was abandoned, and then was transformed. In 2009 it re-opened as the DC Court of Appeals, redesigned by Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, which modernized the interior while preserving its historic features. A graceful glass atrium defined the new main entrance, and the limestone walls gleamed. A grand new ceremonial courtroom was constructed beneath the south lawn.

The Court of Appeals now stands among other dignified courthouses. But in 1822, when the mayor and council moved into the new City Hall, their neighbors were the hastily built Washington County poorhouse, the Washington Jail, and eventually the Washington Infirmary, providing medical care to the poor.

The jail was especially bleak, confining criminals and debtors together with the insane. In addition the cells held fugitives from slavery, enslaved people, and free African Americans who had broken one of the Black Codes that governed their lives until DC emancipation in 1862. For example, African Americans could not be on the street past curfew without a permit. The city required all free African
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
Click or scan to see
this page online
Americans to register and have a white sponsor.

By the 1870s the poorhouse and infirmary were long gone. The reviled Washington Jail was finally razed in 1878 after the new jail was built near the Anacostia River. In their wake, the city commissioners transformed the landscape of the tears into a beautiful city park, with curving paths, a watchman's lodge, and a marble fountain. In 1991 the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial opened where the park had been.
 
Erected 2012 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number e.6.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansGovernment & Politics. In addition, it is included in the Downtown Heritage Trail series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 2009.
 
Location. 38° 53.765′ N, 77° 1.063′ W. Marker is in Northwest Washington in Washington, District of Columbia. It is in Judiciary Square. Marker is at the intersection of E Street Northwest and 5th Street Northwest, on the right when traveling east on E Street Northwest. Located near the E Street entrance. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 444 E Street Northwest, Washington DC 20001, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Old City Hall and District of Columbia Court House
A Courthouse Reborn Marker [Reverse] image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), December 2, 2022
2. A Courthouse Reborn Marker [Reverse]
(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sitting in Judgment (about 400 feet away); Old City Hall (about 400 feet away); Discover DC / Judiciary Square (about 400 feet away); The National Building Museum (about 500 feet away); Building Out the Square (about 600 feet away); a different marker also named Discover DC / Judiciary Square (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Northwest Washington.
 
Also see . . .  Judiciary Square, Washington, D.C. (Submitted on August 21, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
 
A Courthouse Reborn Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, April 23, 2012
3. A Courthouse Reborn Marker
This is a previous iteration of the marker. While the text is identical, the formatting is slightly different from the current version.
Back of Marker from the previous version image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, April 23, 2012
4. Back of Marker from the previous version
A Courthouse Reborn Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), December 2, 2022
5. A Courthouse Reborn Marker
North Entrance to the Courthouse Today image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Swain, April 23, 2012
6. North Entrance to the Courthouse Today
View of the deck at the building's northeast corner: quotations along the inner wall: image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Richard E. Miller, August 12, 2012
7. View of the deck at the building's northeast corner: quotations along the inner wall:
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
View northward from the Courthouse toward Judiciary Square image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Richard E. Miller, August 12, 2012
8. View northward from the Courthouse toward Judiciary Square
with the National Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial (center), and the National Building Museum (formerly, the Pension Office Building) in the distance.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on January 30, 2023. It was originally submitted on May 20, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 728 times since then and 5 times this year. Last updated on August 21, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 2, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.   3, 4. submitted on May 20, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   5. submitted on December 2, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.   6. submitted on May 20, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   7, 8. submitted on August 14, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.

Share this page.  
Share on Tumblr
m=58612

CeraNet Cloud Computing sponsors the Historical Marker Database.
U.S. FTC REQUIRED NOTICE: This website earns income from purchases you make after using links to Amazon.com. Thank you.
Paid Advertisements
Mar. 1, 2024