Tuesday, August 13, 2013


A couple of Sundays ago I found myself at the Milwaukee County Courthouse looking for something to shoot.  This is the building that Frank Lloyd Wright asserted set Milwaukee architecture back 100 years.  No doubt from his perspective it did.

This was fairly early in the morning and I knew there was no chance that I could get inside the building.  Besides, my recollection was that the courthouse's hallways are very poorly lit, and the only areas of interest would be the courtrooms.  Even on a business day, given the security concerns at the courthouse, it is very unlikely that I would be allowed to take pictures under any circumstances.

So I focused on the exterior and decided to look for opportunities in black and white.  This is actually the very first photo that I took.

Maybe that pigeon says something.  I'm not sure.  But I liked that the shot included only a portion of the roman arch.

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the building's architecture are its Corinthian columns.  Here is a face-on shot.

And another taken from an oblique angle.

This latter shot, though it lacks symmetry, does a much better job of showing off the detail in the columns' structure.

The exterior also features a number of pediments titled with words common to the legal system.  I liked Truth the best.

The plaza extending east from the front of the building includes a couple of statues.  One was no surprise, General Douglas MacArthur, one of Milwaukee's most prominent historical figures.

The other,which was more centrally positioned, was a surprise:  Mahatma Gandhi.  I'm not sure what the connection to the courthouse would be other than that a benefactor with clout funded the statue's commissioning.  Not that it's a bad statue.  Here are a couple of shots.

In this latter shot I was attempting to emphasize Gandhi's hand, leaving the rest out of focus.  Not sure that it works.

Although it was a quiet Sunday morning, I was not entirely alone.  There were the local geese.

And another fellow out for his "constitutional."

Finally, I took a few shots of the city jail, located adjacent to the courthouse.  You can tell it's the jail because the windows are too small to escape from.

Pretty simple, but I did like the lines.



  1. Could we use some of these images in a website?

  2. What is the nature of the website?

  3. Would I be able to use one of these photos in the header of a lawyer website?


    1. Nicole,
      You can reach me at jmgaphillips@att.net.