Hall of Justice Stained Glass - San Diego
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Metro2
N 32° 42.950 W 117° 09.951
11S E 484457 N 3619797
Quick Description: Dozens of stained glass windows from a no-longer existing 1889 courthouse are now on display in the atrium of San Diego's new Hall of Justice.
Location: California, United States
Date Posted: 6/22/2013 10:05:17 PM
Waymark Code: WMHC90
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member BarbershopDru
Views: 3

Long Description:
The Hall of Justice is located at 330 W Broadway, San Diego, CA 92101

The Hall of Justice is the newer of two adjoined buildings housing the Superior Courts in downtown San Diego. Throughout the corridors of the building are remnants of stained glass windows from an older courthouse. Each window has the seal of one of 42 states.
This website (visit link) has photos of many of the windows and informs us:

"The stained glass windows overlooking the central atrium in the Hall of Justice carry a history that curves back upon itself, much like the stylized foliage that graces so much Victorian art.
The windows hark back to the late 19th century, when the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted to order $2,000 worth of art glass from John Mallon of San Francisco to decorate the 1889 courthouse. That sum purchased 42 stained glass windows depicting the artist's version of the Great Seals of the 42 states then in the Union. It is believed Mallon used a process he is said to have invented where the images were photographed on glass and the designs "burned in" before they were painted in oils. The seal medallions were then surrounded by stained glass designs, with faceted jewels sometimes accenting the floral, ribbon foliate, or geometric and fishscale patterns.

The choice of Mallon appears to be a conscious expression of civic pride going first class. As noted in the California Architecture and Building News of the time, art glass had "become one of the necessities of the present day" and Mallon had "almost a monopoly of the home market in its line." He designed windows for the Crocker family and Senator Leland Stanford in the San Francisco Bay area, as well as for San Diego's Villa Montezuma and area churches.

Despite the brilliance of the glass, artistically detailed designs, and deep luster of the painted images, the tide of fashion was not kind to the graceful artworks. By the time the 1889 courthouse was razed in 1959 to make way for the current building, Victorian embellishments and extravagances were often seen as ungainly or old-fashioned when compared with the stripped down sleekness of 1960s modern. Some public sentiment urged that the antique windows be preserved and incorporated into the new structure as a vital link with history, but a preference for the new and different prevailed. The warped and sometimes damaged windows speckled with dirt and soot were packed up and consigned to the oblivion of storage.

The windows came to public attention again in 1978 after an arsonist destroyed the Electric Building and the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. The tragedy prompted two judges who remembered the treasures to ask the Board of Supervisors where the court windows were housed. County officials then removed the artworks from a rented storage area to a more secure county facility, where an examination revealed the Massachusetts window was missing. Intense media coverage jogged the memory of a former manager at U.S. National Bank, who recognized the window as the very one that had languished in his garage for 19 years, bound for the scrap heap.

County photographer Hans Wendt subsequently took slides of each artwork, and Mary Ward, county historian in the Department of Parks and Recreation, meticulously documented and catalogued the collection. The Board of Supervisors eventually decided to display the stained glass in county courthouses, and the Public Arts Advisory Council launched a campaign to finance the restoration and permanent installation. The legal community and other civic-minded donors responded generously to the appeal, with the California window the first one to be installed.

But 12 windows never found a home. Perhaps not enough appropriate spaces were available, or maybe the money ran out. In any case, they remained in county warehouses and eventually came into the custody of Chuck Freeman, supervisor of Superior Court property and supplies.

An art history buff since college, Freeman saw construction of the Hall of Justice as an opportunity to return the stored windows to court service. Superior Court Presiding Judge James R. Milliken agreed and broached the idea of private sponsorship to the development team of Lankford & Associates, Inc., Hensel Phelps Construction Co., and architects Carrier Johnson Wu. They promptly offered to refurbish three windows themselves. Their enthusiasm brought in the San Diego County Bar Foundation, which offered local law firms a chance to restore a glittering memento from San Diego's legal history.

Twenty-eight firms and individuals pledged more than $100,000 to refurbish and install the artworks on the first four floors of the Hall of Justice. Their generous gifts have preserved for the public a glowing link with our historic past."
Type: Remnant

Fee: no

M-F 8-5

Related URL: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
Original photographs showing additional views of the Ruin/Remnant or even just its current condition are encouraged. Please describe your visit, especially if no additional photos are available. Did you like the Ruin or Remnant? What prompted you to see the Ruin or Remnant?
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Metro2 visited Hall of Justice Stained Glass - San Diego 6/3/2013 Metro2 visited it