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Tallahassee's Taj Mahal

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-937402.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – The news media has received a sneak peak at what critics are calling Florida's "Taj Mahal courthouse." Trimmel Gomes tagged along for the guided tour.

Construction is pretty much done with exception to finishing touches, like these gold painted hand rails being hammered into the balcony on the second floor. Brad Will with Peter Brown Construction shows the office space.

"This is an area that would be a judge's suite, the court was built so it could be expand," he said.

Each of the 15 judges in the 1st District Court of Appeal will have their own bathroom, with mahogany type medicine cabinets, spacious kitchen, and three clerks' offices. There are a total of 18 suites and a virtual courtroom.

"So that they can sit here and listen to cases from Pensacola and Jacksonville, virtually and their cameras with 360 views, and that's what the monitors are for so the judges can see what's going on and whoever in the office is going to see what's going on. In the long run we'll save money, travel time."

But those savings are a little too late. Criticism of the building's $48 million price tag led to the demotion of the 1st District's chief judge, who lobbied hard for the building.