- Gus J. Solomon United States Courthouse
name = Gus J. Solomon United States Courthouse
caption = Courthouse viewed from Broadway.
location = Portland,
lat_degrees = 45
lat_minutes = 30
lat_seconds = 57
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 122
long_minutes = 40
long_seconds = 50
long_direction = W
area = convert|117000|sqft|0
built = 1932-1933
Morris H. Whitehouse
April 30, 1979
refnum = 79002142
General Services Administration
Gus J. Solomon United States Courthouse is federal
courthouselocated in downtown Portland, Oregon, United States. Completed in 1933, it previously housed the United States District Court for the District of Oregonuntil the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouseopened in 1997. The Renaissance Revival courthouse currently is used by commercial tenants and houses a post office branch. In 1979, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Placesas United States Courthouse.
The federal courthouse was designed by Portland architect Morris H. Whitehouse between 1929 and 1931, and built by Murch Construction. [http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/contentView.do?programId=9596&channelId=-17574&ooid=19384&contentId=19940&pageTypeId=8195&contentType=GSA_BASIC&programPage=%2Fep%2Fprogram%2FgsaBasic.jsp&P=PMHP Gus J. Solomon U.S. Courthouse, Portland, Oregon.] U.S. General Services Administration. Retrieved on
November 19 2007.] Construction on the seven-story structure began in 1932, with the laying of the cornerstoneoccurring in August. The $1.5 million steel-framed with reinforced concrete structure was finished in just over one year. Originally called the Federal Courthouse, it was completed in September 1933. [http://www.fjc.gov/history/courthouses.nsf/getcourthouse?OpenAgent&chid=5E71A6AE37D1B9AA8525718B00719D4B Historic Federal Courthouses: Portland, Oregon.] Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved on November 19 2007.] The Solomon Courthouse contains eight courtrooms in its convert|117000|sqft|0 of space.O’Hagan, Maureen. [http://wweek.com/html/solomon040198.html Wisdom of Solomon?] " Willamette Week". April 1 1998.]
Architecturally, the Solomon Courthouse is Renaissance Revival on the exterior and
Art Decoon the interior. On the exterior are Doric pilasters that adorn the symmetrical façade, along with classical triglyphs and metopes that alternate in the sandstone frieze. Cornices top the frieze with an egg-and-dart pattern, while a distinct Art Deco floral pattern surrounds the exterior. With an open courtyard in the middle, only the first floor covers the entire block. The building is topped with a flat roof that contains a parapet wall and with decorative gutters.
Materials used on the courthouse include bronze as accents, a light colored gray sandstone on the exterior, marble on the interior along with plaster and oak. Marbles include Pink Kasota Fleuri, Red Nebo Golden Travis, and Brown Nebo Golden Travis used in the entryway. Other details include a bas-relief sculpture honoring Oregon casualties in
World War I, a large marble eagle sculpture, and white-marble sculpture created by Manuel Neri.
Two courtrooms located on the sixth floor of the building demonstrate the architectural adornment of the courthouse’s interior. These spaces use marble for trim and on the faces of the courtroom clocks, contain leather covered doors, oak cornices, and
coffered ceilings. Additionally, these courtrooms contain almost full-length windows, oak shutters, Corinthian columns, and bronze lamps among other details.
After completion, the building housed both the
United States District Court for the District of Oregonand the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitPortland duty station. The Ninth Circuit moved to the nearby Pioneer Courthousein 1973, and the District Court left for the new Hatfield Federal Courthouse in 1997. In 1988, the courthouse was re-named in honor of judge Gus J. Solomonafter he died in 1987. [Vile, John R. [http://www.bsos.umd.edu/gvpt/lpbr/subpages/reviews/stein0707.htm Gus J. Solomon.] Law & Politics Book Review. Retrieved on November 19 2007.] In 1979, the courthouse was added to the National Register of Historic PlacesUntil 1984 the building also housed a post officeon the first floor and in the basement. This space was then remodeled for use by the District Court. In 2004, with the remodeling of the Pioneer Courthouseand removal of the post office at that location, a postal branch was re-opened at the Solomon Courthouse. [Leeson, Fred. All rise, then take a look at Portland courthouse. " The Oregonian", December 12 2005.] In the mid-1990s the Multnomah County Court explored the possibility of leasing the courthouse from the federal government to use in addition to the Multnomah County Courthouse, but the plans were later canceled.Currently the courthouse is used for a variety of tasks, including new citizen swearing-in ceremonies. [ [http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=25112 Community.] " The Portland Tribune", July 6 2004.] Other non-court uses have been as a scene for a local play, [ [http://www.sojourntheatre.org/press_justiceproject.asp The Justice Project: Community Collaboration and High Artistic Quality.] Sojourn Theatre. Retrieved on November 19 2007.] and as a setting for a courtroom scene in the Hollywood movie "The Hunted". [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0269347/locations Filming locations for The Hunted.] IMDb. Retrieved on November 19 2007.] The building is also home to Congressman David Wu’s local office. [ [http://www.house.gov/wu/contact.shtml Contact David Wu.] United States House of Representatives. Retrieved on November 19 2007.] Plans called for the federal bankruptcy court of Oregon to move into the building along with the Internal Revenue Serviceafter renovations. [Stewart, Bill. Old Courthouse attractive site to arts center. July 10 1998.] There have been proposals to use the building as the headquarters for a proposed Twelfth Circuit Court of Appeals to be created from a split of the Ninth Circuit. [ [http://judiciary.senate.gov/testimony.cfm?id=1635&wit_id=4727 Testimony of Circuit Judge Richard Tallman: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.] United States Senate: Committee on the Judiciary. Retrieved on November 19 2007.]
* [http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/channelView.do?pageTypeId=8199&channelPage=%2Fep%2Fchannel%2FgsaOverview.jsp&channelId=-15825 General Services Administration: Oregon]
* [http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/hh:@field(NUMBER+@band(OR0141)) Library of Congress]
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