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New federal courthouse

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A new downtown Mobile federal courthouse was scheduled for completion in 2007. Unfortunately, federal budget restraints postponed construction.

From the architects' website:

The new courthouse is entered via a glazed portico extending westward as a colonnaded arcade and accommodating a grand stair that rises to every level of the building. The colonnade curves gently around the two-block site encircling a cluster of mature oak trees. The program features ten courtrooms and facilities including probation, pretrial, grand jury room, and offices for U.S. District Clerks, U.S. Marshals, U.S. Attorneys, and U.S. Senators. The principal block of courtrooms and support facilities to the south is complemented by a smaller-scale series of pavilions accommodating the judges

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Does anyone know the status of final design and groundbreaking? What do you think of the current design?

The design looks pretty cool to me I hate that it will break the srteet grid I wish it could go up instead but over all it's cool. Where will it be located it would look cool on government ?

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Where will it be located it would look cool on government ?

It would sit on two blocks on the north side of St. Louis St., straddling Conception. I think some of the land has already been purchased.

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Rode by the area not to long ago. Glad its going to be built here. the st. louis street area needs a face lift. and i hope it will clean up the neighbor hood.........It might just be me,but i like tall buildings. i think it makes a city look more ..hmm what the word.....more powerfull? Mobile never looks upward ( county courthouse, proposed downtown condos, and now this court house) in stead we tend to spread outward like a Barnhill buffet! Just think how the skyline would look if the condos by the water would be just one tower instead of three , with more parking and retail on a boardwalk along the river!

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The design looks pretty cool to me I hate that it will break the street grid

I'm not fond of that either. I think getting rid of surface parking lots outweighs that issue, though. I read somewhere that pedestrians will actually be able to walk under it, but Conception will be closed to vehicle traffic in that block. I don't know if that's still the plan.

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yeah thats still the plan. I talked to the people at the downtown alliance and they said that was the plan. they are going to save the historic town homes and they are going to keep as many oak trees as they can. I just hope it doesn't hurt the character of the neighborhood since it is so futuristic looking.

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yeah thats still the plan. I talked to the people at the downtown alliance and they said that was the plan. they are going to save the historic town homes and they are going to keep as many oak trees as they can.

That's good to hear. It looks like the preserved historic buildings are visible behind the courthouse in the models.

I would rather have a Greek Revival style design, taking cues from Barton Academy and some of the public buildings that were demolished downtown. It looks like this is the final design though, and it should be an impressive building.

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That's good to hear. It looks like the preserved historic buildings are visible behind the courthouse in the models.

I would rather have a Greek Revival style design, taking cues from Barton Academy and some of the public buildings that were demolished downtown. It looks like this is the final design though, and it should be an impressive building.

I'd rather have one too. I don't think that Alabama really has a huge greek rivival style building. The ones like customs houses and stuff. Like ones in New York, or D.C., or Phili. It'd be awesome to have on. All stone, no hollow pilars.

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A press release from Senator Shelby's office noted that the Mobile courthouse is on the federal judiciary's prioritized list for 2008, and announced funding for site preparation. I hope that means groundbreaking in 2008.

News release

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LEED Silver certification is pending for the new courthouse, per a contractor's website: LEED Silver pending (scroll down)

they are going to save the historic town homes and they are going to keep as many oak trees as they can.

The historic town houses are under renovation by the General Services Administration, so hopefully construction of the courthouse will follow soon.

Courthouse_houses.jpg

GSA_sign1.jpg

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I hope it doesn't get built because I hate that it breaks up the city's street grid. I wish they would build upward instead of outward!

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Nice looking civic building! But you are right; it could easily go 10-12 stories high.

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Nice looking civic building! But you are right; it could easily go 10-12 stories high.

yea i wish it would go higher too, but at this point.... i just want anything to be built my dad's current courthouse (fed. bankruptcy court) is in the old greyhound station and has no windows!!

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yea i wish it would go higher too, but at this point.... i just want anything to be built my dad's current courthouse (fed. bankruptcy court) is in the old greyhound station and has no windows!!

Where is the old greyhound station?

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Too bad the project could engulf three blocks instead of two. Imagine a wall of infill from St. Joseph St. west to North Jackson St.

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The Mobile federal courthouse project has been among the top five courthouse priorities in the country for the last six years, but Congress has not appropriated construction funds. Officials hope the new building will be included in the Obama stimulus package. Estimates for the cost of the new building went up from $91 million about five years ago to $181.5 million.

This would be a great project for the stimulus project -- it's been planned and ready to go for several years now.

Can U.S. afford this courthouse?

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The recently passed stimulus bill allocates about $750 million for construction of U.S. courthouses and other federal buildings, but more than half of that money will likely go toward a new headquarters building for the Department of Homeland Security. About $300 million will be available for new courthouse projects, far less than the nearly $1.5 billion needed for priority courthouses.

The highest priority new courthouse projects are in San Diego, Los Angeles, Austin, Salt Lake City, Savannah, Mobile and Nashville. The San Diego courthouse is expected to be included in this year's budget bill, leaving Los Angeles as the #1 priority. Unfortunately, Mobile may have to wait even longer for the new courthouse to begin construction.

Stimulus falls short on court projects

Link to chart: Priority federal courthouse projects

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The 2002 Moshe Safdie and Associates design for a new federal courthouse appears to be dead and the now-funded project has been scaled back from 322,261 square feet to 138,000 square feet. Counting previously appropriated funds, the total now available for the project is $118 million, while the latest estimate in 2009 for the Safdie design was $181 million.

 

Space for court clerks has been downgraded from the Safdie design (apparently a good thing because files are now digitized), and the probation and pretrial services offices would instead be located in the existing U.S. Courthouse. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court would relocate to the current courthouse rather than the new one.

 

The General Services Administration will conduct a worldwide design competition and the new courthouse could be completed within 5 or 6 years.

 

Federal courthouse project scaled back

 

$118 million federal courthouse project included in federal funding bill

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It's official, construction will begin in a few months on a new 155,600 sq. ft., five-story courthouse in downtown Mobile! The new courthouse, with a far more traditional design than the original, will occupy one city block rather than most of two as called for in the Safdie concept.

 

An $89 million construction contract was awarded for the two-phase federal courthouse project. The new federal courthouse, bounded by St. Joseph, St. Louis, Conception and St. Anthony streets, should be complete by December 2018. Phase two, renovation of the existing courthouse across the street, should be complete by October 2020. Alabama limestone will be used in the project.

 

Planned courthouse to be bridge between Mobile's business, De Tonti districts

 

$89 million construction contract awarded for new federal courthouse

 

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mobile-cthouse-front.jpg

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