WEST PALM BEACH, Florida – This month’s installation of a stone sculpture titled “Light of Justice” became an artistic finishing touch for the new 4th District Court of Appeal courthouse and parking garage built by The Weitz Company in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida.
Made by California artist Rude Calderon, the sculpture consists of a basalt column topped with a golden, onyx stone carved down to its crystalline core, allowing sunlight to shine through and create the appearance of a flame.
The sculpture was 1 of 3 public art installations Weitz oversaw as the project’s construction manager. Other touches of art included a colorful mural painted on the upper deck of the courthouse parking garage and hand-crafted tiles set into the public plaza adjacent to the courthouse.
“This is truly a project of and for the people,” said The Weitz Company Executive Vice President and General Manager Dennis Gallagher. “We were honored to be part of it and proud to have completed it on time and on budget despite two hurricanes during our 18 months of construction.”
Hurricane Irma hit Palm Beach County in September 2017, about 11 months after Hurricane Matthew impacted the area in October 2016.
Another construction challenge was the presence of overhead power lines bordering the building’s public entrance on Tamarind Avenue. In order to place the courthouse’s massive concrete columns without hitting the power lines or poles, Weitz devised a plan to hoist each column above a pre-built steel superstructure protruding from the building before carefully lowering each beam down through it.
The three-story, 40,000-square-foot courthouse features one main courtroom and 14 judicial offices. The project included a secure public lobby with bullet resistant glass and a metal detector system; extensive mahogany-stained millwork; an enclosed rooftop courtyard; and a four-story parking garage with secure entry/exit for judicial staff. The project was designed by KBJ Architects of Jacksonville, Florida.