‘The Courthouses of NYC: Where Law, Beauty, and Scandals Collide’ Webinar
From the active courthouses clustered around civic centers throughout the five boroughs to abandoned ones hiding in plain sight, New York City’s vast number of houses of law & order is nothing but extraordinary. But how did this complex network of local, state, and federal courts get its start? And how has it evolved over the past several hundred years? It’s time to explore the stunning architecture and incredibly rich legal history of New York City’s courthouses, and their impact on the city, state, and nation.
Join New York Adventure Club as we trace the evolution of New York City’s civic institutions, from their role as multipurpose government buildings like post offices and town halls to architectural design as grand, single-purpose structures meant to radiate the majesty of the rule of law.
Led by Bob Pigott — author of New York’s Legal Landmarks — our virtual experience featuring the sights and stories of NYC’s courthouses, from past and present, will include:
- The origins of New York City’s legal system, from the old City Hall to the development of the United States Supreme Court when New York was briefly the nation’s capital
- Landmark trials throughout the centuries, including John Peter Zenger’s acquittal in 1735 (a decision that established the freedom of the press, later enshrined in the Bill of Rights) and the Gilded Age’s most sensational trial surrounding the murder of “starchitect” Stanford White
- New York’s courthouses in pop culture, such as Tom Wolfe’s description of the 1934 Art Deco Bronx County Courthouse in his novel, The Bonfire of the Vanities, and legendary fictional TV & film trials from Twelve Angry Men, A Miracle on 34th Street, and Law & Order
- A digital showcase of prominent courthouses still standing and no longer, including Tweed Courthouse, Jefferson Market Library, and the notorious Tombs
Afterward, we’ll have a Q&A with Robert — any and all questions about the courthouses of New York City are welcomed and encouraged!
Can’t make it live? Don’t worry, you’ll have access to the full replay for one week!
See you there, virtually!
*Immediately upon registering, you will receive a separate, automated email containing the link to join this webinar
**For the best possible viewing experience, please ensure you’re using the latest version of your internet browser — Google Chrome is the most compatible. Exact technical requirements and a webinar user guide will be shared in the automated confirmation email upon registration.
***A full replay of the experience will be available to all registered guests for up to a week
Robert Pigott has been practicing law in New York City for over 30 years, and, though he began walking at an unremarkable age, has been exploring its streets for over 50 years. A specialist in nonprofit law, he has worked in private practice and the New York Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, and he is now the general counsel of a 100-year-old New York City nonprofit organization. He went to elementary and junior high schools in Queens, to high school on East 15th Street and to law school on West 116th Street. He lives in Manhattan, one block from where he was born, with his wife and two children.
Robert Pigott is the author of New York’s Legal Landmarks, which chronicles New York City’s courthouses from past and present.