Byron White U.S. Courthouse
1823 Stout Street
Denver, CO 80294
A Denver landmark of dramatic distinction, the Byron White U.S. Courthouse is the region's most magnificent example of neoclassical grandeur. Set on a pedestal and surrounded by sidewalks, the 244,000 square foot building is clad in white Colorado Yule marble. The front exterior is faced with a three-story portico of 16 Ionic columns while the other three sides feature pilasters with the same Ionic capitals modified by the addition of the national coat-of-arms.
Four stories and two basement levels comprise the structure. A marble stairway spanning the front of the building rises up to the main entrance colonnade. Reproduction turn-of-the-century light fixtures with verdigris finish are mounted on the facade between the columns. An entablature wraps the top of the building with the slate roof rising above. The large ornamental cornice is decorated with a row of dentils and an acanthus leaf motif with a decorative band beneath ornamented with medallions and eagles. Two outdoor light courts inside the building are faced in limestone with Italian Renaissance detailing. The library wing projects out at the center creating the two courts, and is joined to the opposite wall at the third level by curving stone staircases on each side. Here convex walls of glass in the Grand Jury Room and the round end of the library reflect each other through limestone columns.
The U.S. Courthouse is embellished with notable artwork. A pair of Indiana limestone sculptures of Rocky Mountain sheep commissioned from Denver artist Gladys Caldwell Fisher (1907-1952) sit at the southwest entrance. Fisher completed the sculptures, with help from two assistants, working under the Works Progress Administration in 1936.
Inside the front entrance is a lobby that spans the building which was originally utilized as the post office main lobby.
Twenty-eight foot barrel-vaulted ceilings create dramatic volume. Wall sconces and glass-topped, wall-mounted writing tables are original.
Other interior and courtroom features include:
- burled wood gate and bench panels,
- brass and glass compass skylight inlay,
- beige on white and blue and gold color palettes, and
- second through fourth floor views onto interior light courts.
Inscribed on wall piers are the Pony Express rider's names, including Buffalo Bill Cody, an important part of the history of the postal service in the American West.