The District of Columbia Court of Appeals (now United States Court of Military Appeals) is a remarkably early example of revived (20th century) Greek Revival architecture, Elliott Woods (1865-1923), who was Architect of the Capitol from 1902 until his death. He designed the Court of Appeals with great sensitivity to respect the adjacent former Washington City Hall of 1820, which now serves as the District of Columbia Courthouse. In addition to being sympathetic to the Hadfield-Mills Old City Hall (Mills is credited with the south side plan and George Hadfield with the north side plan) , the design of the Court of Appeals was greatly influenced by it.
The Court of Appeals building is exceptionally well executed. The materials are fine without being lavish, and the refined restraint displayed throughout the structure exemplifies the best architectural thought of the conservative school during the first decade of this century. This singularly harmonious building is extravagant by modern standards in its use of space, fully a third of which is devoted to stairs, passages , and stately lobbies.
The dignity of the law and the esteem in which it should properly be held are well expressed by the setting provided by this building. There is in Woods' building no false note of pomposity or meretricious display. A judicious restraint and fine sense of balance mark this judicial structure, one of the handsomest of its period among Government buildings. The district of Columbia Court of Appeals was established in 1893. The
building under discussion was authorized by an Act of May 30, 1908 and was completed on October 1, 1910. It housed the D. C. Appellant Court until 1952, when, on November 1, it was turned over to the United States Court of Military Appeals.