Historic Prince George’s County Courthouse Celebrates Opening of Renovated Duvall Wing
(UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — March 6, 2009) On March 12, officials, judges, employees and residents will gather at the Prince George’s County Courthouse to celebrate the opening of the renovated and largely rebuilt historic Duvall Wing. The event will mark the almost literal emergence of a modern court facility from the ashes of a disastrous fire.
The Duvall Wing had been evacuated in 2001 due to the building’s deteriorating condition, and work to modernize the facility was almost complete, when, on Nov. 3, 2004, a fire destroyed the interior of the three-story wing.
Plans began immediately to restore the landmark structure while focusing efforts on accessibility, safety and security. “The façade of the Duvall Wing had been the symbol of stability for the county for decades,” said Judge William D. Missouri, Circuit and County Administrative Judge for, and Chief Judge of, the Seventh Judicial Circuit, and County Administrative Judge for Prince George’s County. “But its interior design did not meet modern requirements for safety, security and access. For example, Sheriff’s deputies had to transport offenders through the main corridors in handcuffs when going to and from courtrooms, and there were no secured corridors for judges or jurors. The configuration was a security nightmare, but it was the only venue that the court had to try large cases,” Judge Missouri added.
“The renovations include new accessible entrances, technologies, and secured corridors for personnel and persons in custody,” said Circuit Judge Sheila R. Tillerson Adams, who oversaw the project for the Prince George’s County Circuit Court. “We wanted to celebrate the rich history of justice in our county by restoring the Duvall Wing, which has always been a landmark on Main Street in Upper Marlboro. However, behind the historic façade of the Duvall Wing there are seven new jury courtrooms that include the Circuit Court’s largest trial courtrooms, secure judges’ corridors, offices for the Clerk of the Court, the Sheriff, a children’s waiting room, public access counters, and expanded offices for the Register of Wills, the Orphans’ Court, the Grand Jury and the Office of the State’s Attorney.”
The celebration ceremony for the re-opening of the Duvall Wing of the Prince George’s County Courthouse will be held Thursday, March 12, 2009, 1:30 - 4:30 p.m., at the courthouse, 14735 Main St., Upper Marlboro. Among the speakers will be Chief Judge Robert M. Bell of the Maryland Court of Appeals, Judge Missouri, Prince George’s County Executive Jack B. Johnson, State Senator Mike Miller, and U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer.
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(Editor’s Note: Members of the media are invited to attend the opening. Please contact the Court Information Office at (410) 260-1488 for more information.)