Photo by: Ralph Selitzer, DCAS
Central Courts Building
120 Schermerhorn Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Date Built: 1929
Architect: Collins and Collins
The Brooklyn Central Courts Building is located between Schermerhorn, Smith and
State Streets in Brooklyn. It currently houses the Criminal and Supreme Courts,
and various City offices.
The Central Courts Building was designed by the architectural firm of Collins and
Collins. It was constructed between 1929 and 1932 at a cost of $4 million. In 1982,
new thermally efficient windows were installed at a cost of $1,800,000.
This ten-story Renaissance Revival style building is a steel-framed structure with
limestone clad upper walls on a granite base. The front facade has three, three-story
arched entrances set in a four-story rusticated base. A balustrade separates this
element of the facade from the arched upper floor windows which in turn are separated
by Corinthian columns forming a colonnade.
On the inside, the two-story lobby has a coffered ceiling. There are bronze railings
and bronze elevator doors in the marble space. The now altered courtrooms are paneled
in wood, with decorative plaster ceilings and ornamental ironwork.
Located in the Civic Center, this august classical style courthouse significantly
adds to its cohesion. It reflects, along with McKim, Mead & White's building
at 110 Livingston Street, the last 1920s wave of Renaissance Revival style buildings
in the area.
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