The Bronx County Courthouse is one of the largest courthouses ever built in the United States. The courthouse runs two full city blocks, is nine stories high and posses 775,000 square-feet. Seeking a design that would give the judicial system an image of transparency and openness, Rafael Vinoly, the architect of the courthouse, designed it with a glass and aluminum facade. The materials used throughout the building were chosen to enhance the sense of openness. The robing rooms, jury deliberation rooms and courtrooms are in the interior of the building and have natural light from the clerestory windows that obtain daylight from the corridors between courtrooms and the exterior wall.
The courthouse houses 47 courtrooms, 7 grand jury rooms, offices, and provides underground parking for 240 vehicles. In addition, the building houses various criminal justice agencies including the Bronx District Attorney, the Dept of Probation and the Dept of Corrections, among others. The north side of building contains a large open plaza to be used by the community and an adjacent school. Seating for 495 jurors is available in the jury assembly room.
Technically equipped, the Bronx County Courthouse has monitors in the holding cells adjacent to the courtrooms which allow unruly defendants to view courtroom proceedings. Two video teleconferencing kiosks allow attorneys to interview clients at the Rikers Island correctional facility. Likewise, the courtrooms have video, audio and evidence presentation capabilities including flat-screen video monitors.
With a cost totally about $396 million, construction for this mega-courthouse begin in August, 2001. It borders East 161st St, East 162nd St, Grant Ave and Sherman Ave.
The Criminal Term of Bronx Supreme Court handles a range of felony and misdemeanor cases, including burglaries, murder, conspiracies, weapons charges, drug and traffic cases.
265 E 161st Street (Map)
Bronx, New York 10451