Cows grazing in meadows, thousands of convicts overflowing from prisons, and mob bosses being thrown in jail aren’t the first things that come to mind when thinking of New York City. Yet this was once the norm in Foley Square in the lower Manhattan area that now houses the beautiful courthouses.
The neighborhood is made up of stately buildings with white granite exteriors interspersed with public sculptures and open green spaces. Linda, a court stenographer, convenes the tour at the Surrogate’s Courthouse. This court itself hides the meadows in which the cows once grazed in lower Manhattan.
Continuing on to the equally impressive Tweed Courthouse, lined by ornate granite columns,we were shocked to hear the criminal history of this building that now upholds the law. Tweed Courthouse was first hometo a poorhouse and then a front for the famous mob boss, William M. Tweed, to embezzle millions of dollars. The buildings’ honor was reclaimed when the boss himself was tried and convicted within the very same building.
We continued to the previous prisons and other remnants of Manhattan’s past, stepping inside a courthouse and even meeting a judge. Linda disclosed the inner workings of the court with which she is familiar with through her job. To gain a legal, historical, and even insider view on lower Manhattan, meet Linda at the Surrogate’s Courthouse.