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Fentress Blog

 

 

 

Years ago, during a courthouse needs assessment, I had a passing conversation with a defense attorney while I was evaluating courtrooms. She noticed that I was taking space measurements and photographs, and commented that the standards for courtroom design should change because participants often...

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When courthouse planners, architects, or court managers consider various possibilities for the layout of a new courtroom, how far from historic norms should they expect to depart? There has clearly been a strong thread of consistency in the form and function of American courtrooms from colonial...

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I recently received a comment on my Justice in the Dark post regarding natural light, helping to create a more pleasant environment in a courtroom while having the added benefit of reducing energy costs. I briefly responded that I couldn’t agree more! Now, let me take the opportunity to elaborate.

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In my previous articles on courtroom layout options, I have addressed such issues as sightlines, furniture options, and access requirements. My focus in this post will be on the core element of the courtroom: the location of the judge's bench.

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In my last blog concerning courthouse accessibility, I discussed the challenge of reconciling accessibility requirements with historic preservation objectives at the main courthouse entrance. Today, I’m approaching a topic that is an even greater challenge for court planners and architects: the...

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