A new judicial complex will soon soar above downtown Atlanta


Georgia officials broke ground Thursday on a judicial complex that could wind up being the costliest building in state history.

The new state courts building will house the newly expanded Georgia Supreme Court and Georgia Court of Appeals with a commanding view of the Gold Dome across the street.

The complex, which is set to cost at least $105 million, was built on the spot where the Georgia Archives Building once rose. Nicknamed the White Ice Cube, the state tore down that building earlier this year to make way for the judicial center that courts officials have said was desperately needed.

At Thursday’s ceremony, Gov. Nathan Deal and a phalanx of judges and justices dug shovels into soggy ground to formally kick off the construction.

Georgia Appeals Court Chief Judge Stephen Dillard said what will soon rise there will be a “modern, forward-thinking building” that encourages collaboration. And Deal invoked the Latin motto inscribed in the current courthouse building.

“Let justice be done though the heavens may fall,” he said, nodding to the downpour lashing the muddy grounds. “Well, let’s hope no one takes the latter seriously.”

Plans for the new building, which is set to open in 2019, include a towering four-story atrium with giant windows overlooking the Capitol. Designers hope to eventually build a park over nearby roads to link the complex to the Gold Dome, but there is no funding yet to do so.

The governor called it a timely reminder that “Georgia puts a high value on the rule of law.” Asked to elaborate after his remarks, Deal said people sometimes see the justice system as a “cliché” of sorts.

“We pay lip service to the concept of rule of law,” Deal said. “But in reality, it’s the rock-solid bottom that is the underpinning of our democracy, and we should all be reminded about that. And this building is an excellent opportunity to do that.”


Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Georgia Politics

Georgia Senate meetings will be live-streamed after Thanksgiving
Georgia Senate meetings will be live-streamed after Thanksgiving

Beginning the Monday after the Thanksgiving holiday, Georgians who are interested in watching state senators at work can live-stream committee meetings being held in the statehouse. Members of the Georgia Senate on Friday held a mock committee meeting led by Senate President Pro Tem David Shafer, R-Duluth, to test out the new wiring and equipment....
Atlanta mayor under fire amid debate over illegal immigration
Atlanta mayor under fire amid debate over illegal immigration

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is drawing fire from multiple sides in the hot-button debate over illegal immigration after recently announcing the city had joined a nationwide effort in finding legal help for immigrants facing deportation. When Reed announced the city’s new policy this month, he called Atlanta a “welcoming city that stands up...
The Right points to Franken as a symptom of the Left’s hypocrisy
The Right points to Franken as a symptom of the Left’s hypocrisy

The Right has always questioned Franken’s qualifications for the Senate. The revelations of sexual misconduct by the Minnesota  Democrat have added fuel to the fire. A roundup of editorials Friday takes a look at the issue. From The Boston Herald: It’s “physician heal thy self” when it comes to sexual harassment in Congress...
In the light of the news about Al Franken, will the Left own its own sexual misconduct issues?
In the light of the news about Al Franken, will the Left own its own sexual misconduct issues?

Will Sen. Al Franken’s conduct call into question Democrats’ commitment to championing women who have been sexually harassed? A roundup of editorials Friday takes a look at the issue. The Week: Do the Democrats take sexual harassment seriously? We’ll see. From The New Yorker: As the two apologies from Franken show, men still need...
The Week: A Moore win in Alabama could thrust Isakson into spotlight
The Week: A Moore win in Alabama could thrust Isakson into spotlight

If Republican Roy Moore wins Alabama’s special election to the U.S. Senate next month, and if fellow senators choose to expel him from the chamber over accusations of sexual misconduct involving the candidate and teenagers when he was in his 30s — so a couple of huge “ifs” — Georgia U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson could be a...
More Stories