Congressmen Attack New LA Courthouse Proposal

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

One of Downtown LA’s two existing courthouses, on Spring Street. (

Two congressmen really seem to have it in for the planned new U.S. courthouse and federal building in downtown Los Angeles, for which several prominent LA firms have been shortlisted.

According to the LA Times, California Representative Jeff Denham earlier this month called the proposal a “sham,” insisting that the judiciary should be able to share courtrooms more efficiently at their current spaces (there are currently two federal courthouses downtown).

“I get it, I know these judges would love to have a much bigger, palatial courtroom with lots of extra room and big conference rooms,” Denham said. “The question is, can we afford it?” Denham was joined by Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster, who noted: “It’s outrageous that judges insist upon having their own courtrooms when they don’t use them, when they spend much of the time vacant.”

But according to the General Services Administration (GSA) the courthouse is still moving ahead as planned, and an architect should be named this fall. An RFQ for the federal building will be released this fall as well. The GSA is looking for a private sector developer to buy the Spring Street Courthouse in order to help pay for the latter project.

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