Reimagining the City
The U.S. Federal Building & Courthouse
May 1st, 2018
Reimagining the City // Federal Courthouse Square
By John O’Connor
Tropic Magazine, May 2018
In our April issue, Tropic announced an invitational design charrette, the goal of which is to reimagine the William Morgan-designed Federal Courthouse, now deemed obsolete for its original purpose. The group of architects we’ve chosen to participate in this exercise understand that Morgan’s Courthouse Swuare worked well pre-9/11, its trayed formation and open terraces suggesting an open, transparent democracy in built form. After the events of 9/11 however, the United States clamped down and security became the rallying cry of the decade. So Courthouse Square, as we call it, was quickly locked down, its doors alarmed, its courtyards closed to the public. It no longer made sense as a federal Court in an era of mistrust and suspicion.