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Opened in November of 2011. The design of Buffalo’s new federal courthouse expresses the dignity and the transparency of the federal judicial system while accommodating courtroom and office space to meet the needs of the U.S. District Court and court-related agencies in Buffalo.
The courthouse is dramatically situated on a 1 3/4 acre site in the northwest corner of Niagara Square in the downtown civic center of the city and helps complete Niagara Square. The curved south wall, oriented towards the Square, encloses the public lobbies while its transparency reveals the activity within. A veil of glass panels suspended in front of the pre-cast skin of the ellipse reinforces the inherent grace of the shape with an expression of lightness, while the 255 foot elevator tower topped with a glowing lantern firmly anchors the structure to the site and marks the urban context at both ground and sky. A glass pavilion creates a courtyard interlocked with the tower form. All 4,536 words of the United States Constitution are etched on the glass facade of the pavilion, casting a silhouette upon all who enter into the building.