SGarza.NBCourthouseAnalysis History

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The Nueces County Courtouse is a place where criminals are tried, taxes are paid, and licensees are issued. It is a place that represents power and the patriarchal society. Much like theory of the penopticon that ensures the obedience of the inmates of a prison by the mere presence of the guard tower sitting in the middle of the wings of cells, the courthouse stands as a constant reminder to the citizens of Nueces County that law and order does indeed prevail, and if one does not obey, there are serious consequences.
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The Nueces County Courtouse is a place where criminals are tried, taxes are paid, and licenses are issued. It is a place that represents power and the patriarchal society. Much like theory of the penopticon that ensures the obedience of the inmates of a prison by the mere presence of the guard tower sitting in the middle of the wings of cells, the courthouse stands as a constant reminder to the citizens of Nueces County that law and order does indeed prevail, and if one does not obey, there are serious consequences.
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The Nueces County Courtouse is a place where crminsls are tried, taxes are paid, and licensees are issued. It is a place that represents power and the patriarchal society. Much like theory of the penopticon that ensures the obedience of the inmates of a prison by the mere presence of the guard tower sitting in the middle of the wings of cells, the courthouse stands as a constant reminder to the citizens of Nueces County that law and order does indeed prevail, and if one does not obey, there are serious consequences.
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The Nueces County Courtouse is a place where criminals are tried, taxes are paid, and licensees are issued. It is a place that represents power and the patriarchal society. Much like theory of the penopticon that ensures the obedience of the inmates of a prison by the mere presence of the guard tower sitting in the middle of the wings of cells, the courthouse stands as a constant reminder to the citizens of Nueces County that law and order does indeed prevail, and if one does not obey, there are serious consequences.
June 18, 2007, at 09:29 AM CST by 75.49.118.244 -
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Admittance to the upper floors is of course restricted. One must pass through security. As one moves through the metal detectors and scanned with some magic wand that beeps, one feels guilty. A sense that one has committed a crime washes over with each pass of the wand. The everyday Jane does not usually go to the upper floors reserved for personnel, but this day, one did. As she road the elevator and got off on each floor she noticed that the restricted spaces differed greatly from the public spaces. There were are few signs that directed in silent power, but the different floors seemed more welcoming and less sterile. The floors were each different colors, some blue, tan, even pink. Many were carpeted and quiet with beautiful glossy wood paneling and serene sounds. The everyday John and Jane are not usually found milling about these spaces inhabited by badged personnel. The suits seem to walk on there own as they inquired if the everyday Jane was lost or needed help. Intruding on these spaces further reinforced the power structures of the courthouse.

The Nueces County Courthouse is a building that stands for something and that something is who have it and those who do not. From the architectural design, to the visual rhetoric of the signs used to control the movements of the everyday John and Jane, obvious power structures are at work separating those who hold the power and those who are controlled by it.
June 18, 2007, at 09:13 AM CST by 75.49.118.244 -
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Moving about the ground floor, one can see signs directing commoners on every wall, door, and office. Entrance, , Personnel Only, building is under ; these messages, most often written in large black or red font control the everyday John and reinforce the power structures. In addition to the signs, an information desk sits in the middle of the ground floor with an officious person watching every move of the people as they move abound the ground level. One can watch to see how this person monitors the people, her eyes darting back and forth from person to person. She has no smile are greeting as one approaches the threshold of the desk; she glares suspiciously at the note taking of a group of young twenty somethings wondering about the ground floor and pointing to signs, pictures, and statues.
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Moving about the ground floor, one can see signs directing commoners on every wall, door, and office. Entrance, , Personnel Only, building is under ; these messages, most often written in large black or red font control the everyday John and reinforce the power structures. In addition to the signs, an information desk sits in the middle of the ground floor with an officious person watching every move of the people as they move abound the ground level. One can watch to see how this person monitors the people, her eyes darting back and forth from person to person. She has no smile are greeting as one approaches the threshold of the desk; she glares suspiciously at the note taking of a group of young twenty somethings wondering about the ground floor and pointing to signs, pictures, and statues. do not belong, her scowl seems to say.

The historical document display with the grand Texas seal strategically placed in about five different locations reifies power structures. The display set against the neutral bone color of the building walls in it glass cases remind that there is a history of oppression; for many years the ruling power has kept records of the general populous, the people who only come to the governing authority to pay taxes or be counted. This fact is further supported by a link to the larger national government with the displays of the American flag. The flag is very large and hanging from the glass ceiling which is in and of itself ironic. It hangs in the middle of the building reminding the everyday John and Jane that there are even larger power structures at national government. The flag functions to normalize the inequalities of power at work in the Nueces County Courthouse; this local government is connected to a larger national government; however, it serves only as a reminder of the degrees of separation between the commoners and those in power.
June 18, 2007, at 08:56 AM CST by 75.49.118.244 -
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Moving about the ground floor, one can see signs directing commoners on every wall, door, and office. Entrance, , Personnel Only, building is under ; these messages, most often written in large black or red font control the everyday John and reinforce the power structures. In addition to the signs, an information desk sits in the middle of the ground floor with an officious person watching every move of the people as they move abound the ground level. One can watch to see how this person monitors the people, her eyes darting back and forth from person to person. She has no smile are greeting as one approaches the threshold of the desk; she glares suspiciously at the note taking of a group of young twenty somethings wondering about the ground floor and pointing to signs, pictures, and statues.
June 18, 2007, at 08:50 AM CST by 75.49.118.244 -
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Power and the Everyday Jane: A Visual Analysis of the Nueces County Courthouse

The Nueces County Courtouse is a place where crminsls are tried, taxes are paid, and licensees are issued. It is a place that represents power and the patriarchal society. Much like theory of the penopticon that ensures the obedience of the inmates of a prison by the mere presence of the guard tower sitting in the middle of the wings of cells, the courthouse stands as a constant reminder to the citizens of Nueces County that law and order does indeed prevail, and if one does not obey, there are serious consequences.

This sense of power is immediately felt as one walks towards the building that stands erect in the middle of downtown Corpus Christi. It is a formidable structure towering over many of the other buildings downtown, and it s gold tinted windows, which allow the inhabitants of the restricted accesses upper floors to see out while the general public cannot see in, evokes the sense of being watched by those in power. The outside architecture alone demands obedience and its phallic construction reminds one of who exactly holds the while male.

The flow of traffic coming in and out of the building is interesting; it is comprised of normal everyday people with children in tow or papers and checkbook in hand to sign over a payment to the parties in power. The courthouse functions as an omnipotent ruler that requires offerings from the commoners to remain in the good favor. There is no one face, no particular identity that one may pay homage to; this ruler is a collective of business suits, academic degrees, under the table dealings, money, privilege, and power. It is certain, however, that the power is not comprised of the everyday John or Jane. The courthouse stands with its all-seeing golden eyes as a reminder of this.

As one walks through the sliding electric doors, an awareness that the everyday Jane does not belong in the upper floors of this building is pervasive. The bronze statue of the Native American is supposed to function as a remembrance of the original landowners, the statue actually represents how the white patriarchy displaced the original inhabitants of Nueces County. This reminds the visitors of the courthouse that people are controllable, disposable, and powerless against the powerful patriarchy. The elevator stands at the front of the building and as one steps in to shuttle to the upper floors, it becomes apparent that access to this 10 floor building is restricted for the everyday John and Jane to the first 3 floors.