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Preserve historic Mitchell Courthouse

Retired U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James Schneider discusses the history and uncertain future of the Mitchell Courthouse. (Barbara Haddock Taylor, Baltimore Sun video)

Thanks for your article on the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse (“White marble palace, now a little shabby,” Dec. 30). There is no question that a new up-to-date courthouse is sorely needed to replace both the East and West (Mitchell) courthouses which straddle the 100 block of North Calvert Street.

When the courts move to a new and better setting, we can only hope that the magnificent Mitchell Courthouse building can be restored and re-purposed to be a showcase of Baltimore architecture and history. There is so much to see and learn in this beautiful place — a gem unknown to many in the heart of the city. In fact, when the courts move to a new location, the public will have much easier access to view its many wonders — the architectural beauty of the courtrooms, the legal museum, and the beautiful and historic Baltimore Bar Library on the 6th floor housing legal references and special collections (including the collection of the Baltimore City Historical Society) that date back hundreds of years.

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Let us have a win-win situation; build a desperately-needed new courthouse and preserve and re-use the historic Mitchell Courthouse building for the benefit, education and administration of all.

Donald T. Torres, Ellicott City

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