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Harris County Courthouses And Square

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Just the thought of spending another day in the Harris county jury room makes me so glad I live in Fort Bend county now. 

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Man, they need to clean that part of town up hardcore. Everytime I go by there its like walking through a jailhouse since pretty much its all ex cons waiting around the courthouse. I would hate to be a woman and walk by there because all of those criminals whenever I see a lady walk by go, hey baby and are all staring at them and Im sure its not a very pleasant experience for any woman going by there.

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Just the thought of spending another day in the Harris county jury room makes me so glad I live in Fort Bend county now. 

Fort Bend county also has courts and there are also jury trials that will require members of the public to serve jury duty.

I would prefer jury duty in downtown Houston to jury duty in Richmond any day.

Edited by nate
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Man, they need to clean that part of town up hardcore. Everytime I go by there its like walking through a jailhouse since pretty much its all ex cons waiting around the courthouse. I would hate to be a woman and walk by there because all of those criminals whenever I see a lady walk by go, hey baby and are all staring at them and Im sure its not a very pleasant experience for any woman going by there.

Clean up that part of town? LOL. Its the courthouses! There is going to be people accused of crimes around there by its very nature. Sorry fellas, no criminals allowed in the courthouse, you're just going to have to jump your bond!

Edited by kylejack
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Clean up that part of town? LOL. Its the courthouses! There is going to be people accused of crimes around there by its very nature. Sorry fellas, no criminals allowed in the courthouse, you're just going to have to jump your bond!

lol, you know what i mean, of course there are going to be criminals but that entire part of town is just a slum. They could densify it and clean it up. Most cities you go you dont just see a bunch of criminals hanging around in the cbd and bail bonds located on every corner in an area that supposed to be the pride and joy of a city, its cbd.

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Fort Bend county also has courts and there are also jury trials that will require members of the public to serve jury duty.

I would prefer jury duty in downtown Houston to jury duty in Richmond any day.

You wouldn't say that had you experienced both venues like I have. Not only have I been to numerous Harris County jury duty summons in the past, I have even participated on a jury there. Of course it's been a few years. Maybe these days a trip to Harris county courts are like a day trip to Disney World, full of fun and entertainment. I doubt it though. 

Edited by LunaticFringe
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Man, they need to clean that part of town up hardcore. Everytime I go by there its like walking through a jailhouse since pretty much its all ex cons waiting around the courthouse. I would hate to be a woman and walk by there because all of those criminals whenever I see a lady walk by go, hey baby and are all staring at them and Im sure its not a very pleasant experience for any woman going by there.

This is more than just a little overwrought. Every street in the area has been rebuilt, including new pavers or concrete sidewalks, they built two new courthouses at a cost of over $200 million, they've renovated two more at over $100 million, they are removing the surface lot for the assembly room, and have plans to replace a 5th courthouse. Both jails across the bayou are new and kept clean. Many of the old buildings have been renovated. They built a 12 story parking garage with landscaping. All told, they are spending or have spent upwards of $1 Billion on the courthouse square area, and you claim they need to "clean that part of town up hardcore"? Having spent 12 years hanging out in and around those very courthouses and jails, I cannot ever remember catcalls at the women, which include prosecutors, judges, police officers and probation officers. If that type of behavior were occurring, these ladies would more than know how to deal with it. Not to mention that 3 different police agencies have their headquarters within that area, so the place is crawling with cops, deputies and jailers.

So, other than removing the people who offend you're delicate sensibilities, how would you "densify it and clean it up"? Be specific. Exactly which new courthouses would you demolish in order to densify and clean up this area?

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You wouldn't say that had you experienced both venues like I have. Not only have I been to numerous Harris County jury duty summons in the past, I have even participated on a jury there. Of course it's been a few years. Maybe these days a trip to Harris county courts are like a day trip to Disney World, full of fun and entertainment. I doubt it though. 

I've been to both as well. One is a trip to the CBD of the 4th largest city in the country, with all the traffic, people and excitement that this entails. The other is a trip to a sleepy burg, seemingly trapped in time. Some people prefer the bustling city, some the sleepy burg. I wouldn't call one better than the other, merely different.

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Umm....and why WOULD anyone hang out after sundown, unless you're a cop.

The place is a ghost town at 6pm, unless it's a game day over at MMP.

I dont know. What if you have night court?

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I dont know. What if you have night court?

I don't think they have juries at night court, just arraignments.

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That parking lot was huge!! Thanks for the pic. :)

I'm sure the whining as people realized it was closed was huge as well.

Man, I'd like to see the floorplans for this thing.

As usual, thanks for the photos!

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It wasnt any different in size from the surrounding lots. Its just that its a wide angle lens and makes things in the foreground seem larger than they really are. Anyways, when is this supposed to be completed?

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It wasnt any different in size from the surrounding lots. Its just that its a wide angle lens and makes things in the foreground seem larger than they really are. Anyways, when is this supposed to be completed?

Late 2010 or Ealry 2011.

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They did a good job of reorienting the entrance to the county court to face the park. The main entrance used to be on San Jacinto.

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Construction on the park from yesterday

3818409672_661995a86d_o.jpg

Looking good. Now we need to work on that row of parking lots on the left hand side.

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They've unearthed what appears to be the basement of a building at the corner of Caroline and Franklin. Anybody know what building used to be at that corner?

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They've unearthed what appears to be the basement of a building at the corner of Caroline and Franklin. Anybody know what building used to be at that corner?

My trusty 'Downtowner' map from 1940 shows 'Inside Parking' at that corner.

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They did a good job of reorienting the entrance to the county court to face the park. The main entrance used to be on San Jacinto.

What is that building? The Harris County District Courts map does not identify it and I cannot recall.

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What is that building? The Harris County District Courts map does not identify it and I cannot recall.

Sorry, my mistake. I was referring to the former court building. At some point it became the Juvenile Justice Center.

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Construction on the park from yesterday

3818409672_661995a86d_o.jpg

Wow, first picture i've seen with both construction projects.(MainPlace, and Hess/Disco Tower.)

This is an awesome picture.

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My trusty 'Downtowner' map from 1940 shows 'Inside Parking' at that corner.

Inside parking? Like a parking garage? How odd.

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Inside parking? Like a parking garage? How odd.

It's hard to say if it was a parking garage or not. It was small, at most a sixth of the block. There was a garage next door.

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Architech - PageSoutherlandPage

HarrisCo_JuryRoom_SLIDE_01.jpg

Seems like they could have oriented the building to run parallel to Congress so it didn't jut SO far into the park. Kind of kills that space.

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Seems like they could have oriented the building to run parallel to Congress so it didn't jut SO far into the park. Kind of kills that space.

I disagree, while I would have liked a smaller surface footprint, the way it's oriented gives quite a bit of greenspace that is available to people coming from the criminal and civil courthouses.

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Hopefully this park increases property values a little bit around that area, although I doubt it will.

Considering every property surrounding the park is owned by the County, I agree that it probably will not raise property values, nor would it matter in any way whatsoever, as the County is not interested in selling its courthouses.

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Considering every property surrounding the park is owned by the County, I agree that it probably will not raise property values, nor would it matter in any way whatsoever, as the County is not interested in selling its courthouses.

Agreed.

I just hope they allow some better quality street vendors to be there.

The hotdog stand that I got my eats was disappointing to say the least.

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I disagree, while I would have liked a smaller surface footprint, the way it's oriented gives quite a bit of greenspace that is available to people coming from the criminal and civil courthouses.

You don't think it would look a little less awkward if, say, it ran along the street in that open space between the trees, rather than jutting straight out into the middle of the green lawn?

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You don't think it would look a little less awkward if, say, it ran along the street in that open space between the trees, rather than jutting straight out into the middle of the green lawn?

It doesn't look odd to me. I think they wanted the greenspace to be viewed by those walking along the Congress side instead of a solid wall for most of that block.

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Harris County Jury Assembly Room and Transportation Plaza

Bounded by Franklin, Congress, San Jacinto and Caroline

Developer: Harris County

Estimated Completion: 2010/2011

Sitework has begun on a new Jury Assembly Room and Transportation Plaza. The site will be preserved as a public park and the four, below-grade, 250-seat jury assembly rooms will be tunnel connected to the Criminal Justice Center, Civil Courthouse, Juvenile Justice Center, and the new Family Law Center. Designed by PageSoutherlandPage. Estimated cost is $16.8 million.

http://www.houstondowntown.com/Home/GeneralInfo/About/Development1/

Edited by DrLan34
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I walked by on the weekend and it was well under way. Not much else to say about it right now...

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here is a pic of it as of today. :)

yeah, I was a photo shootin' fool today.

027.jpg

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I love to see anything new downtown that isn't concrete.

I was just reading through the old posts on this thread and realized something:

Architech - PageSoutherlandPage

HarrisCo_JuryRoom_SLIDE_01.jpg

Was this rendering made in Sim City 4?

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On the top floor of the Civil courthouse, looking at the Criminal courthouse.

8QHeBDo.jpg

 

On the top floor of the Criminal courthouse, looking at the Civil courthouse.

vJsZMEJ.jpg

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