Appellate Division @ 45 Monroe Place: Ever Wonder What Goes On There?

Last week, Brownstoner deemed the Classical Revival Appellate Division building at 45 Monroe Place in Brooklyn Heights its Building of the Day. Architectural historian & Brownstoner writer Montrose Morris tells us that the handsome limestone-clad structure at the corner of Pierrepont Street was constructed between 1936-1938 at a cost of $1.5 million, replacing a church that stood on the corner.

Ever wonder what goes on there? The “Second Department of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York” serves 10 New York counties, making it the busiest Appellate Court in the nation. It was established in New York State in 1896 to hear appeals from the NYS Supreme Court, as well as Family, County, Claims and Surrogate’s Court.

Rooms include a two-story courtroom with a gold-leaf coffered ceiling, clerk’s office, administrative facilites, a lawyer’s lounge, nine Justice’s chambers, law library, consultation room and restrooms.

When it opened in 1938, it housed eight Justices and 63 staffers. Today, 21 Justices and 199 staff members are based there.

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  • Matt T.

    It is not the “Second Division of the Appellate Court”. It is the Second Department of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

  • Ari

    I attended a swearing-in ceremony at this courthouse, in the main courtroom, it is absolutely gorgeous in there.

  • stuart

    Montrose Morris is a treasure. I just love her.

  • WillowtownCop

    I was sworn into the Bar there. They made me check my gun.

  • lois

    In addition to replacing the church at the corner of Monroe Place and Pierrepont Streets, the beautiful brownstone my family owned at 41 Monroe Place was also taken under eminent domain and torn down. The unfortunate thing is that the actual building does not occupy the space where 41 was, the open space or “parking lot” does.

  • Master Of Middagh

    I hope to be sworn in there, provided everything goes as planned this February with my licensing examination…

  • Eddyenergizer

    If you only knew what went on there back in the day :)

  • ColumbiaHeightster

    I was sworn in there as well, and they wouldn’t swear a guy in because he wasn’t wearing a tie. Ha, lawyers.

  • Joe2: The Joe-ening

    I was sworn in there, too, back in 2009. First time I ever stepped foot in the neighborhood. Moved here just a few months later.

  • JT

    That’s terrible! Do you have any photos of the brownstone before it was torn down?

  • lois

    Yes, I do have pictures.

  • Andrew Porter

    You mean the site was occupied by a British fort, unless this was an early precursor to Occupy Wall Street…

  • Andrew Porter

    Images of a hat check girl come to mind. I presume the reality is much more mundane. Or maybe you meant you checked your gun, found it unloaded, and proceeded into the building.

  • MadeInBrooklyn

    This was the spot back in the day for us locals to hang out and be generally undesirable… Good memories!