Administrator Helps Dedicate New Courthouse in Brooklyn
As prepared for delivery
U.S. General Services Administration
New Courthouse Dedication
Brooklyn, New York
June 12, 2006
Thank you David (Winstead) for that generous introduction.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
It is my pleasure and great honor to represent the Bush Administration and the U.S. General Services Administration today at the dedication of this beautiful U.S. Courthouse here in downtown Brooklyn.
- Judges Korman, Walker and Dearie, thanks for welcoming all of us here today.
- Congresswoman Velazquez and Congressmen Towns – good to see you again.
- And to all the other esteemed jurists, colleagues and friends of the court .
This event marks a wonderful and historic occasion for Brooklyn, the state of New York, and for our nation.
We’re here today to express our heartfelt appreciation to those who worked so hard to help us reach this special day… and to express best wishes to those who will work to administer justice within the walls of this building – both now and in the years to come.
One of GSA’s proudest and most important missions is to provide world-class space and amenities needed by the Federal Judiciary as our judges help decide the critical issues of the day. The Federal Judiciary is one of the fundamental pillars of American society, as well as GSA’s largest customer agency.
Though this is my first visit to Brooklyn as GSA Administrator, Deputy Administrator David Bibb was here in April to celebrate the opening of the Bankruptcy Court’s new space in the historic U.S. Post Office and Courthouse just across the street. This facility will of course provide much-needed space for the District Court.
Overall, the Brooklyn court project has included the adaptive reuse and restoration of an historic property more than a century old. Congratulations are in order for a project that integrated the latest technology and security innovations while maintaining the graceful elegance of this national landmark.
How wonderful that Brooklyn’s skyline has been enhanced by this new beacon of civic pride. I fully agree with the architect, my good friend Cesar Pelli, who describes the courthouse as a noble structure that conveys the majesty and openness of the American judicial system.
That sense of majesty is further enhanced by the twin bronze entrance sculptures conceived by artist Linda Scheer. I felt chills course through me as I passed through them on entering here today. I know that visitors cannot help but be inspired as they pass these magnificent works, these torches of justice, that say so much about the values and ideals we all cherish as Americans.
The success of this project gives me an opportunity to brag a bit about two GSA programs responsible for a legacy of outstanding buildings throughout the land: the GSA Design Excellence Program, and GSA’s Art in Architecture Program.
I’ve mentioned just two members of the very large, talented and dedicated team it took to complete this unique project. Let me also acknowledge:
- From the courts, Judge Raymond Dearie,
- From our nation’s capitol,
- Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez,
- Congressman Ed Towns,
- And Senator Charles Schumer.
- Congratulations as well to the architectural firm of HLW International and of course.
- I’d like to thank GSA regional Administrator Eileen Long-Chelales and her team:
- Project Manager Linda Peters,
- Construction Engineer Robert Collegio,
- Project Architect Clem Migliano,
- Contracting Officer Frank Cashman,
- Project Executive Myron Goldstein,
- Contracting Officer Miriam Lopez,
- And Contracting Specialist Michael Weippert.
As one who came to GSA from the world of small business, I’m also very pleased that, through the subcontracting efforts on this courthouse, more than $98 million went to small businesses. Of that, over $22 million went to women-owned small businesses, and $50 million was awarded to local businesses here in Brooklyn.
Our work, by the way, does not end with this ceremony. Our mission is to enable the Judiciary to do its important work without having to worry about any aspect of the facility. I pledge we will do just that, providing future maintenance and upkeep in a manner that will not only support the operations of the court, but do so in a manner that will make us all proud.
In closing, let me again thank Cesar Pelli for providing the inspiration for this magnificent, splendid monument to justice. I’ve known Cesar Pelli for several years and I remember well a time back in 2001 when he was kind enough to walk through the National Building Museum in Washington, DC which was showcasing a retrospective of his work. I remember looking at the models, marveling at the sheer number and variety of them and realizing that I was in the presence of a great talent. There’s something humbling and at the same time uplifting when you are in the presence of someone whose commitment to excellence is unparalleled and who is clearly the best at what he does. So thank you again, Cesar, for creating this splendid, yet intimate and welcoming courthouse, a courthouse, which has served so many citizens in the past, and will continue to operate as a worldclass facility for generations to come.
Again, on behalf of GSA, on behalf of President Bush and on behalf of the American people, congratulations to all who labored so diligently, and best wishes for continued success in the future
Thank you very much.