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United States Supreme Court Building

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United States Supreme Court Building


Structure in General

low-rise building
existing [completed]


court house


  • The East Pediment was designed by American sculptor, Hermon A. MacNeil.
  • The West Pediment was designed by American sculptor, Robert I. Aitken.
  • Marble was used as the principal material throughout the building, and about $3,000,000 ($36,000,000 in 2005 dollars) worth was gathered from both domestic and foreign quarries.
  • The single-floored basement houses a private parking garage, the Court's mailroom, and maintenance facilities that are manned by a 32-person crew.
  • The first or ground floor, houses offices for the Court police department, the Clerk's office, the Cafeteria, a Press Room for reporters, a Gift Shop, and a Barbershop.
  • The third floor comprises the Justice's Dining Room, the Reporter of Decisions Office, the Library Reading Room, and additional offices including ones occupied by Justice Ginsberg -- the first active Justice to have Chambers on this floor.
  • The fifth floor houses a gym equipped with weights and exercise equipment, and a Basketball Court which is closed while the Court is in session, since a ball bouncing on the hardwood floors can be heard in the high-ceilinged Court Chambers directly below.
  • The fourth floor is occupied by the Supreme Court Library, which houses 450,000 volumes, as well as original copies of every brief filed with the Court since 1935.
  • On the second floor is found the Great Hall, the Court Chamber, Chambers (offices) for eight of the nine Justices, and three Conference Rooms including one used by the Justices to discuss and vote on cases.
  • Vermont marble was used for the building's exterior, white Georgia marble was used for the four inner courtyards, creamy Alabama marble was used for the floors and walls of most of the corridors and entrance halls, and the Court Chamber is walled with Spanish Ivory vein marble.
  • The west entrance is fronted by two bronze doors, each of which weighs 6-1/2 tons.
  • Cass Gilbert, the principal architect, died in 1934, 14 months before the building was completed.

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More Information


1-49 1st Street NE
101-199 Maryland Avenue NE, 2-100 2nd Street NE, 100-198 East Capitol Street
1 1st Street NE
District of Columbia

Technical Data

92.00 ft
385.00 ft
340.00 ft

Involved Companies

Cass Gilbert
John R. Rockart

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