Places of Interest at the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center
The art and architecture of the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center is carefully integrated to create a building that while functional also proudly depicts Ohio history. The inscriptions and symbols carved in marble and bronze, and muscular and mythic murals splashed across ceilings and walls, celebrate all who shaped the state: the native peoples, explorers, soldiers, presidents, jurists and artists.
The lobbies and hallways feature ornamentation to symbolize Ohio's dignity and resources. Entered from Front Street through bronze doors of stylized Buckeye fruit and foliage, the vestibules, monumental stairways and Elevator Lobby set up a decorative contrast between Ohio's natural and manufactured resources. The metal borders framing the building directories display images of agricultural and industrial products ranging from corn and wheat to suits of clothing and ceramic pottery. In the north and south stairways are large mosaic panels depicting Vulcan harnessing energy and Ceres, symbolic of the fruits of the soil, respectively. The elevator door panels personify the four seasons and the four primitive elements.
The main circulation route between the Elevator Lobby and the hearing rooms is called the Grand Concourse and functions, too, as a Hall of Fame. Here bronze bas-relief portraits honoring Ohio's eight presidents, nine justices of the United States Supreme Court and two speakers of the House of Representatives are spaced between large pilasters of dark green Italian marble.
At the north end off this main concourse is the North Hearing Room, featuring murals depicting the progress of industry in Ohio. The murals, created by Cincinnati artist John Holmer (1894-1962), feature industrial and agricultural workers and are divided between scenes of Ohio labor and modern work. Originally designed for use by the Industrial Commission for hearings related to workers compensation and other issues, the North Hearing Room is now primarily used by the Board of Professional Conduct.
Directly across from the North Hearing Room and through a small corridor, the Kingsley A. Taft Map Room features a well-preserved collection of 16 original, historically significant maps donated by Sheldon A. Taft, son of the late Chief Justice. The Kingsley A. Taft Map Room is not a part of the self-guided tour of the Moyer Judicial Center, but can be visited by appointment. For more information, call 614.387.9000.
At the center of the Grand Concourse is the main Courtroom, which features nearly 50 murals depicting everything from the five states created from the Northwest Territory to the settlement of Marietta in 1788. The largest and most ornately decorated room in the Moyer Judicial Center, the Courtroom is where the Chief Justice and Justices of the Supreme Court hear oral arguments.
At the south end of the Grand Concourse is the South Hearing Room, featuring murals depicting the history of transportation in Ohio. The murals, created by Indiana artist Herman Henry Wessel (1878-1969) contrast the means of transportation in the 19th century with those of the 20th century.
In the lower level Civic Center Drive lobby, Ohio's American Indian culture is depicted with bronze bas-reliefs of historic Ohio Indian leaders Logan, Little Turtle, Pontiac and Tecumseh. The ceilings are adorned with mosaic tile patterned with language symbols, and chevron etched lamp globes suspended from the ceiling with bows and arrows. The iron grills on the doors incorporate metal silhouettes of designs by the pre-historic Hopewell Indians and historic groups in the Northwest Territory.
The 11th Floor elevator lobby, serving the Supreme Court Law Library, features Pyrenees Black and White marble. The library reading room boasts large windows on three walls with spectacular views of downtown Columbus. The south wall features a series of murals depicting the evolution of the printed book.