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State Library and Supreme Court Building

State Library and Supreme Court Building - 1910
Copyright 1910
State Library and Supreme Court Building
Copyright 1908-1910
State Library and Supreme Court Building - Postmarked 1911
Postmarked 1911
State Library and Supreme Court Building - postmarked 1912
Postmarked 1912
Connecticut Supreme Court
Postmarked 1912
State Library and Supreme Court Building - 1920
Postmarked 1912
State Library and Supreme Court Building
Postmarked 1915
State Library and Supreme Court Building
Postmarked 1917
State Library and Supreme Court Building - 1920
Copyright 1920
Bird's-Eye View of the Capitol and State Buildings, Hartford, CT
Copyright pre-1920
State Library and Supreme Court Building, Postmarked 1925
Postmarked 1925
Hartford, CT - Capitol Area
Capitol Area, Copyright 1925

State Library and Supreme Court Building - 1930
Copyright 1930

Supreme Court
Published late 1940s

Birds' eye view of the CT Supreme Court
View from state capitol dome

As our nation entered the Twentieth Century pressure mounted in Hartford and across the State of Connecticut for a building that would provide the much-needed space for the State Library and Supreme Court. Further, the citizenry and its leaders believed that the building should also serve as a monumental edifice to the legal, historical and intellectual fabric of Connecticut.

With this in mind, noted New York Architect Donn Barber created an imposing structure of Italian Renaissance design with symbolic statuary groups above the portico, which is reached by wide steps from street level.

The building was opened in 1909. At the laying of the cornerstone Chief Justice Simeon E. Baldwin said, "Set by itself, in all the majestic dignity which architecture can command, is rising before our eyes the splendid home which Connecticut has prepared for her highest court of justice and for the books that teach what justice is and give it form." The magnificent granite structure faces north on Capitol Avenue, directly across the street from the State Capitol, which was erected in 1878.

The statuary above the building features four female figures by noted French sculptor Michel Louis Tonnetti, whose works include statues in the Library of Congress and on the facades of the New York Public Library. The figures, Justice, History, Art and Science, were installed on the building in October 1913.

The West Wing of the building contains the Supreme Court Courtroom and the Justices' Chambers while the East Wing houses the Library. The Museum of Connecticut History occupies Memorial Hall which is located between the two wings.

The Supreme Court courtroom is 43 feet wide, 56 feet long and 35 feet high. Two murals by Albert Herter accentuate the stately courtroom. Behind the bench is The Signing of the Fundamental Orders of the Constitution 1638-39. Included in the mural are famous Connecticut founders Thomas Hooker, Roger Ludlow and John Haynes. The other mural, An Allegory of Education, covers the ceiling of the courtroom and provides a visually enlightening metaphor.

Click on any picture to see a larger version.
Souvenir Postcard from Hartford, Connecticut
Copyright pre-March 1907

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Connecticut Supreme Court Historical Society

Supreme Court
Published late 1940sBirdseye View from Capitol Dome
Birdseye View from Capitol Dome


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