Albert V Bryan Federal District Courthouse - Alexandria Va - 0019 - 2012-03-10
Looking up at the statue of Blind Justice on front of the Albert V. Bryan United States Courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia. This courthouse is home to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The statue and architrave constitute the artwork "Justice Delayed, Justice Denied." This is a 1994 artwork by American sculptor Raymond Kaskey. The statue depicts the traditional "Blind Justice," holding the scales of justice in each hand. The statue leans out over the entrance of the courthouse, her robes billowing in the wind.
The architrave below the pedestal is inscribed with a Maryland tortoise projecting out from the center, with racing hares on either side. The image of a tortoise with a billowing sail on its back was the symbol of Cosimo de' Medici, the wealthy businessman who ruled the city of Florence from behind the scenes in the early 1400s and who founded a vast political and religious dynasty. His motto was "Make Haste Slowly." The billowing robes of Blind Justice, standing atop the tortoise, echoes this motto.
However, the animals also evoke the classic fable of "The Tortoise and the Hare." The moral of that story is "slow and steady wins the race."
Judge Albert V. Bryan was a conservative federal judge who, in the 1950s and 1960s, ordered the racial integration of public schools in Virginia. No one expected Judge Bryan to rule in favor of racial integration. For more than two decades, Judge Bryan balanced the need for haste in order to protect constitutional rights with the need for due deliberation in the administration of justice.
Together, the two mottos depict the tension in the law which Judge Bryan so ably administered.
Blind Justice's left foot stands on a small dome atop a pedestal. Her right foot is extended behind her. The pedestral is inscribed with the phrase "Justice Delayed, Justice Denied."
This 10-story, 285-foot high U.S. federal courthouse was designed by Spillis Candela & Partners in association with John Carl Warnecke & Associates. Construction began in 1992, and was complete in 1995. It is located at 401 Courthouse Square in Alexandria, Virginia, USA.