J. Michael Ruane Judicial Center

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The state announced plans in 2005 to build a new complex on Federal Street to replace the aging courthouses. After opening in Nov. 2011, it houses the district court (currently on Washington Street); the juvenile court that leases space at Shetland Park; and the housing court. The nearby former Baptist Church houses the Essex Law Library. The complex is named for the late state representative, J. Michael Ruane and cost approximately $106 million to build.

To make way for the courthouse project, the road infrastructure had to be changed. One of the cloverleaf access points to Federal Street was removed and traffic reconfigured. Three houses on Federal St. (#58,60 and 62 Federal, were razed in order to make room for the new buildings.

The main courtroom was named for Samuel Zoll, the former mayor and chief justice of the Mass. District Court who passed away in 2011.

During construction, on June 15th, a worker was injured when a 500 pound panel fell. The state ordered work on the court to stop. The decision was made to remove all 154 large limestone panels from the rear of the building.

See Also

Vertical File in Salem Collection - Salem Court

"Salem's Federal Street Courts getting a new look" Salem News, July 19, 2005, p. 1

"Hoping to build a superior court" Boston Globe, May 8, 2008, p. N2

"Courthouse project gets a redesign" Salem News, July 22, 2008, p. 1

"Church move postponed" Salem News, Dec. 31, 2008, p.2

"A piece of Salem history relocates" Boston Globe, Jan. 8, 2009, p. N2

"Move that church!" Salem News, Jan. 3, 2009, p. 1

"Demolition begins on Federal Street"(3 historic houses on Federal St) Salem News, June 26, 2008, p. 2

"Three Federal Street houses to be moved" Salem News, Nov. 8, 2007, p. A2

"State stops courthouse wall work; worker was injured last week when a 500 pound panel fell" Salem News, June 21, 2010, p. 1

"State orders wall panels removed" Salem News, June 30, 2010, p. 1

"Wrong screw caused courthouse accident in Salem" Salem News, Jan. 5, 2011, p. 1

"Sneak peek at stunning new courthouse; building opens this month" Salem News, Nov. 2, 2011, p. 1

"Court center officially opens" Salem News, Feb. 29, 2012, p. 2