The new U.S. Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles is finally open after a three year and 315 million dollar construction project. The new building is anchored by two levels of parking, features 24 courtrooms, 32 judges chambers, and even has energy efficient glass panels, bringing the courthouse a long way from its original build in 1940.
HISTORY OF THE COURTHOUSE
Back in 1937 the population of Los Angeles was growing rapidly and a much larger courthouse was needed to serve federal agencies and the courts. So they broke ground and began what was also a three-year project to build the courthouse. It was designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood and was originally a courthouse and post office. The courts continued to grow and needed more spaces eventually leading to the post office getting their own building and the courts taking over their floors.
THE NEW STRUCTURE
The new courthouse is fulfilling the need of “long-standing security and space issues” according to Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard. When first deciding to go forth with this large project, Rep. Allard also stated that, “At a time that we need to keep investing in our recovering economy, we expect the courthouse to create thousands of new jobs in the construction industry and related businesses.”
It was designed and constructed by the firms Owings & Merrill, Skidmore and Clark Construction Group and has received a platinum rating for it’s energy efficiency from the U.S. Green Building Council. It’s one of the safest building in the city and it’s blue panel zig zag window design permits the right amount of sunlight in to allow the building to be energy efficient.
Although a lot of skillful planning was put into the design for the new courthouse, parking was not the primary concern. If you have ever been to the United States Courthouse in downtown LA, you know that parking is typically not an easy task. With the new courthouse opening, Joe’s Auto Parks wants to work with legal firms to help professionals who frequent the courthouse regularly with their parking.
SIMPLE COURTHOUSE PARKING
While the new courthouse is anchored by parking, it only has two levels of parking for a 550,000 square-foot building. Meaning if there is not parking in that lot guests would have to either find street parking at a meter or a parking garage near by. For law office employees this can be expensive and daunting. Joe’s has six locations that are all walking distance and within a one-block radius of the courthouse, and their goal is to try and alleviate some of the cost and stress by providing validation options and legal parking passes for law office employees.
Lot 220 S Spring Street is also trying to be more efficient through the use of parkonect. The parkonect website provides hassle free access into the lot by allowing you to pre pay for your parking. There is no paying at a kiosk or parking attendant, you pay ahead of time on the website then simply scan the bar code at the reader as you drive in and as you drive out, simplifying the whole parking experience. Parking made easy!
This project was thoroughly and skillfully designed and thought out, it’s one downfall could be the small amount of parking that they offer. However, Joe’s Auto Parks hopes to build a relationship with courthouse professionals to help diminish that downfall completely.
Top photo by: Gary Leonard