Photo Guide to the U.S. Supreme Court Building, Washington DC

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Supreme Court Photos - Washington DC

Supreme Court

Victoria Chamberlain / TripSavvy 

The Supreme Court Building in Washington DC was built in 1935 after Chief Justice William Howard Taft persuaded Congress to construct a permanent home for the Court. Until that time, the highest U.S. Court met in quarters in the Capitol Building. The Supreme Court Building is open to the public on weekdays throughout the year. Visitors can learn about the history and architecture of the Court during a Courtroom Lecture, watch a visitors' film, and view the exhibitions and public areas of the building.

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Authority of Law - Supreme Court Statue

Authority of Law - Supreme Court Statue
Rachel Cooper

The classical Corinthian architectural style of the Supreme Court Building was selected to match the nearby congressional buildings. The "Authority of Law" is one of two marble statues by sculptor James Earle Fraser that is set on the steps of the Supreme Court Building.

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Contemplation of Justice - Supreme Court Statue

Contemplation of Justice - Supreme Court Statue
Rachel Cooper

"Contemplation of Justice" was also created by sculptor James Earle Fraser. The statue features a woman seated with a tiny figure in her right hand representing Justice.

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John Marshall Statue

John Marshall Statue
Rachel Cooper

A bronze statue of John Marshall, the fourth chief justice of the Supreme Court, occupies a prominent space on the ground floor. Sculpted by William Wetmore Story in 1883, the statue stood on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol until 1981, when it was moved to the Court.

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Great Hall

Great Hall
Rachel Cooper

Visitors explore the main corridor, known as the Great Hall, while they wait to enter the Supreme Court Chamber to listen to a lecture about the history and the architecture of the Court.

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Bust - Oliver Ellsworth

Bust of Oliver Ellsworth
Rachel Cooper

Busts of all former Chief Justices are set on marble pedestals along the side walls of the Great Hall. This bust is of Oliver Ellsworth, the third Chief Justice (1796-1800).

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Supreme Court Chamber

Supreme Court Chamber
Rachel Cooper

The Courtroom of the Supreme Court of the United States is a dignified room with 44–foot ceilings, 24 marble columns, ivory friezes from Spain and floor borders made of Italian and African marble. The raised Bench where the Justices sit and other furniture in the Courtroom is mahogany.

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Supreme Court Justices' Conference Room

Supreme Court Justices' Conference Room
Steve Petteway/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

The Justices' Conference Room, where the Supreme Court Justices meet in private to discuss cases.

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Main Reading Room

Main Reading Room
Franz Jantzen/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

The Main Reading Room in the Supreme Court Library.

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Sandra Day O'Connor Statue

Sandra Day O'Connor Statue
Rachel Cooper

Sandra Day O'Connor was the first female member of the Supreme Court of the United States. She served as an Associate Justice from 1981 until 2006.

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The Warren Court - 1962

The Warren Court 1962
Rachel Cooper

The bronze sculpture of the Warren Court is on display on the ground floor of Supreme Court.

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Stairway

stairway in Supreme Court
Rachel Cooper

The U.S. Supreme Court Building was designed with many unique and beautiful architectural features.

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Spiral Staircase

Spiral Staircase
Rachel Cooper

One of two self-supporting spiral staircases in the Supreme Court Building.

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Model of the Supreme Court Building

Model of the Supreme Court Building
Rachel Cooper

A model of the Supreme Court Building is among several exhibits on the ground floor.

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Equal Justice Under Law

Equal Justice Under Law on Supreme Court building
Franz Jantzen/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

Detail of the main portico of the Supreme Court Building with "Equal Justice Under Law" carved above.

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