John Joseph Moakley
U.S. Courthouse Tours
GROUPS OF TEN OR MORE
Days available: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
Duration: One hour
Hours: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Ages: Ten years and above
Courthouse Tours of the Moakley U.S. Courthouse afford the public the opportunity to learn about the court system and the history, art, and architecture of this magnificent building from volunteer docents. The tour demystifies the justice system and shows visitors that courthouses truly belong to the public.
During the hour-long tour, groups will view several points of interest, including a spectacular “conoid” glass wall overlooking Boston Harbor, the Ellsworth Kelly Boston Panels, the Wall of Honor, a District Court courtroom, and the First Circuit Library. The tour will allow visitors to draw connections between the founding of the federal courts and the art and architecture of the modern courthouse. Visitors are welcome to stay and eat lunch in the public cafeteria overlooking the harbor.
*We currently aren’t accepting tour requests- please check back in spring 2020!*
HISTORY OF THE MOAKLEY U.S. COURTHOUSE
The John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse was built in 1998 as headquarters for the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Named in honor of John Joseph Moakley, a Massachusetts congressman of thirty years, the courthouse sits on Fan Pier, a beautiful waterfront site with a spectacular view of Boston Harbor. Designed to symbolically reflect the law itself, the Moakley U.S. Courthouse is simultaneously formal and welcoming; detached and connected; historical and contemporary. It is intended to synthesize powerful ideas about citizenship and law into a grand public building.
The building houses twenty-five courtrooms for the U.S. District Court and two courtrooms for the U.S. Court of Appeals, as well as forty judges’ chambers, a law library, the United States Attorney’s office, and the United States Marshals Services’ Boston headquarters.