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A Hall of Justice is an occasional term for a city's police headquarters, and exists in cities across the United States. In some cases, the facility may house courts, jails and offices of other criminal justice agencies. In some US cities, the Hall of Justice is called the Justice Center.



Detroit's Frank Murphy Hall of Justice houses the Criminal Division of the Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan, also known as Wayne County Circuit Court, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office and formerly housed Detroit Recorder's Court.[1] Located in the Greektown district, the twelve-story Brutalist architecture building was completed in 1970 and is named for jurist and politician Frank Murphy, who was Mayor of Detroit, Governor of Michigan, United States Attorney General and Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.[2] Currently in use, Frank Murphy Hall of Justice is slated for demolition as part of area redevelopment when the circuit court moves to a new Wayne County criminal justice campus.[3]

Los AngelesEdit

Los Angeles Hall of Justice

In Los Angeles the Hall of Justice was the centerpiece of the Los Angeles County justice system until it was damaged in the Northridge earthquake. The historic 1925 building was featured on television shows including Dragnet, Perry Mason and Get Smart. More significantly, it was the home of Los Angeles County courts, the Los Angeles County Coroner, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney, and was for many years the primary Los Angeles County jail.

Notable residents of the Hall of Justice included Charles Manson, Sirhan Sirhan, and Shorty Rossi, star of the Animal Planet show Pit Boss. Autopsies performed at the Hall of Justice include those of actress Marilyn Monroe and the assassinated presidential candidate and former United States Attorney General Robert Kennedy. It was used as a filming location for the 1997 Clint Eastwood movie Absolute Power, as the Washington, D.C. police headquarters.[4]

The Hall of Justice was closed shortly after sustaining damage as a result of the 1994 Northridge earthquake. In 2015, the building re-opened after undergoing a complete restoration. The restoration and retrofit of the building was performed by the design build team consisting of Clark Construction, AC Martin Architects, and Englekirk Structural Engineers. The offices of the Los Angeles County Sheriff and the District Attorney were relocated to the building after it reopened.[5]

San FranciscoEdit

The San Francisco Hall of Justice Complex.

In San Francisco, the old Hall of Justice was opposite Portsmouth Square on Kearny Street between Washington and Merchant. A hotel, the Hilton San Francisco Financial District, now stands on this site. The old Hall of Justice was burned down during the 1906 earthquake and rebuilt in 1910 by city architect Newton J. Tharp. The half-circle, fan-shaped windows on the fourth floor appear in numerous police dramas such as The Lineup in the 1950s and Ironside, the American television program starring Raymond Burr, in the 1960s. The San Francisco Hall of Justice is also frequently mentioned in the works of Dashiell Hammett and James Patterson. It was demolished in 1968.

The current Hall of Justice, located at 850–880 Bryant Street (37°46′32″N 122°24′14″W / 37.77544°N 122.40394°W / 37.77544; -122.40394), served as the San Francisco Police Department's operational headquarters until 2015. It is internally referred to as "850 Bryant" and "the hall". The complex serves as the main San Francisco County Jail, as well as base of operations and headquarters for the San Francisco Sheriff's Department, and garage for the majority of vehicles for the SFPD. The San Francisco Police motorcycle traffic division is completely based there as well. In 1994, the Hall was renamed for Thomas J. Cahill, the Chief of the SFPD from 1958 to 1970.

Front of the San Francisco Hall Of Justice.

The San Francisco Hall of Justice houses Jail #3 and Jail #4 for the San Francisco County Superior Court criminal division. It formerly served as the location of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and city morgue; those offices moved to a new facility in the city's Bayview district in November 2017.[6]


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  4. ^ "Absolute Power 1997". Movie Tourist.
  5. ^ Los Angeles Conservancy | Preservation Issues Archived 2008-05-09 at the Wayback Machine at
  6. ^ Fracassa, Dominic (2 November 2017). "SF medical examiner's staff exits squalid Hall of Justice for new facility". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2 November 2017.