About the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse

The E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse was built in 1949–50 and currently houses the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

One of the last additions to the Judiciary Square and Municipal Center complex, the Elijah Barrett Prettyman U.S. Courthouse was constructed in an important civic enclave dating to the 1820s. It stands as an almost unaltered example of an early 1950s Stripped Classicism, a non-representational abstraction of the classical style that permeated institutional, especially government architecture after World War II. President Harry S Truman laid the cornerstone on June 27, 1950, and the courthouse opened in November of 1952. The courthouse was listed by the National Register of Historic Places and is a contributing property to the Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site. The courthouse was renamed in 1997 in honor of E. Barrett Prettyman, the former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Last Reviewed: 2018-02-07