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Rosegate: Judge Wisdom's Home
Top photo: Bobak.Ha.Eri@Wikimedia.Commons
Other photos: Carol.M.Highsmith@Library.of.Congress
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|The John Minor Wisdom U.S. Court of Appeals Building overlooks historic Lafayette Square.
Construction of the building began in 1909 and the finishing touches on the elaborate interior
were completed in 1915. It was originally used as the U.S. Post Office and Federal Court.
The post office moved to a larger facility in 1961, followed shortly by the courts, as well. The
building was unoccupied until Hurricane Betsy damaged McDonogh #35 High School in 1965,
and the school used the building temporarily.
In 1971-72, an extensive and meticulous restoration of the building took place, bringing the
interior back to its impressive original grandeur. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals moved
in when the work was completed and remains today.
In 1994, the building was renamed in honor of John Minor Wisdom, a respected judge who
served on the bench from 1957 until his death in 1999, and was known as the scholar of the
5th Circuit. Judge Wisdom strongly promoted civil rights and issued landmark decisions that
supported school desegregation and voter rights in the six states which were under the
mandate of the 5th Circuit. In 1993, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom,
the nation's highest civilian honor.
The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. -- Nancy
|John Minor Wisdom United States
Court of Appeals Building