At the laying of the cornerstone for the building on October 13, 1932, Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes stated, "The Republic endures and this is the symbol of its faith." The building was designed on a scale in keeping with the importance and dignity of the Court and the Judiciary as a coequal, independent branch of the Federal government and as a symbol of "the national ideal of justice in the highest sphere of activity." Sixteen marble columns at the main west entrance support the portico and on the architrave above is incised, "Equal Justice Under Law." Capping the entrance is the pediment filled with a sculpture group by Robert Aitken, representing Liberty Enthroned Guarded by Order and Authority. Cast in bronze, the west entrance doors sculpted by John Donnelly, Jr., depict historic scenes in the development of the law. The east entrance's architrave bears the legend, "Justice the Guardian of Liberty." A sculpture group by Herman A. McNeil is located above the east entrance that represents great lawgivers, Moses, Confucius, and Solon, flanked by symbolic groups representing Means of Enforcing the Law, Tempering Justice with Mercy, Carrying on Civilization, and Settlement of Disputes Between States.
The Supreme Court Building is located at 1st and East Capitol Sts., NE. Self-guided exhibits on the main level are available for touring Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Lectures on the Supreme Court are presented on the main level every hour on the half-hour, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 3:30 pm. For more information call, 202/479-3000.
* The White House, U.S. Supreme Court Building, U.S. Capitol, and related buildings and grounds are legally exempted from listing in the National Register of Historic Places, according to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.