John Adams Courthouse, Boston


The John Adams Courthouse houses the Massachusetts appellate courts, the intermediate Appeals Court and the highest court in the Commonwealth, the Supreme Judicial Court. Depicted is the Great Hall, whose barrel-vaulted ceiling is decorated with a mural featuring the seal of the Commonwealth. Surrounding the Great Hall are sixteen life-sized allegorical figures created by sculptor Domingo Mora. The Hall contains a statute of nineteenth century attorney and statesman Rufus Choate, sculpted by Daniel Chester French.


The courthouse contains two exhibit rooms. The first, John Adams: Architect of American Government, explores the central roles played by John Adams and the people of Massachusetts in creating a new system of government for a young nation. This exhibit also tells the fascinating and important story of the end of slavery in Massachusetts. The second exhibit room, Sacco and Vanzetti: Justice on Trial, examines the notorious trial and executions of Italian anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti during the Red Scare of the 1920s.


Massachusetts Appellate Court Great Hall

The John Adams Courthouse is located at One Pemberton Square in Boston, near the Government Center and Park Street MBTA stations. The courthouse is steps away from many Freedom Trail sites, including the Massachusetts State House. The front entrance is accessed from the plaza located through the archway of Three Center Plaza. The rear entrance, on Somerset Street, is one block from the east entrance to the Massachusetts State House. Detailed directions are provided at the official website of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The courthouse is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, excluding holidays.