One New York filming location that will look familiar to anyone who passes it – unless they’ve been living under a rock for the past ten years – is the New York County Courthouse. This massive building, with it’s hundred foot wide grand staircase and towering granite colonnade, has been featured in thousands of productions over the years. But it should be most recognizable to fans of the crime show genre as the courthouse from all of the Law and Order series. It is at this courthouse that McCoy and Briscoe, Benson and Stabler, and Eames and Goren see all of their cases tried. Besides being featured weekly on the three Law and Order series, the courthouse has also been featured in Miracle on 34th Street, Twelve Angry Men, Legal Eagles, Regarding Henry, Nuts, Wall Street, Good Fellas, The Devil’s Advocate, Married to the Mob, City Hall, The Hurricane, Kojak, Cagney and Lacey, Naked City, NYPD Blue, The Equalizer, The Godfather, and Aftershock: Earthquake in New York.
The New York County Courthouse was built back in 1919 by Boston architect Guy Lowell, who also built the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Guy actually won the commision of the building in a 1913 design contest. His original winning design for the courthouse featured a circular shape, but plans changed and he ended up building the courthouse in a six-sided, hexagonal form (bird’s eye view pictured above). Looking at the building from the front, one would never know it was built in this way. Very cool! The building, which was made a New York City Landmark in 1966, is absolutely beautiful – and overwhelming – in person. I am telling you, we don’t have anything like this in L.A.!
In the Sixth Season of Sex and the City Carrie reported for jury duty at the United States Courthouse, which is located right next door to the Law and Order Courthouse. In the episode, entitled “Hop, Skip and A Week”, Carrie and her boyfriend Berger share a “Hollywood kiss” on the courthouse steps just before she checks in to perform her civic duty. At first I thought Carrie and Berger had their kiss on the steps of the Law and Order Courthouse, but upon closer inspection I realized it was a different Corinithian-style building altogether. The two courthouse buildings look amazingly similar, and are both very beautiful, especially because they are situated right next to each other. They create quite an imposing view as you come upon them. The U.S. Courthouse was built in 1933, a bit later than the New York County Courthouse. It was designed by Cass Gilbert, who also designed New York’s Woolworth Building. Even though I am pretty sure New York jury duty is nowhere near as fun as jury duty in L.A., I think it would be very cool to perform my civic duty in such a historic building.
Until next time, Happy Stalking! 🙂
Stalk It: The New York County Courthouse is located at 60 Centre Street in Lower Manhattan. Carrie reported for Jury Duty at the US Courthouse located right next door at 40 Centre Street.