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Duval Courthouse To Get Nearly $900K In Public Art

Courthouse exterior
City of Jacksonville

The city of Jacksonville is undertaking one of its largest-ever public art projects at the county courthouse downtown. The budget for adorning the new courthouse is nearly $900,000.

Big, expensive public buildings mean big budgets for art. That’s because a city ordinance mandates three-quarters of 1 percent of large-scale construction projects be earmarked for sculptures, mosaics or other works.

Credit Jessica Palombo / WJCT News
Perhaps the public art will be inside the Duval County Courthouse's main atrium.

Cultural Council Director Tony Allegretti says that means the massive Duval County courthouse will get $866,000 worth of art. At a recent event in Hemming Park, Allegretti said a committee is preparing to put out a call to artists.

“That will be an international call. When you make that kind of investment, we’re going to really need it to be breathtaking and a destination and something really special, so we’re going far and wide with that one,” he said.

The Art in Public Places Committee is also soliciting public feedback on the project. It’s collecting people’s thoughts with the social media hashtag #CourthousePublicArt and at by email at

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP