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Court/District History

On May 12, 1900, Congress passed a law creating the Western District of New York by carving out the 17 western most counties from the Northern District of New York.

In Buffalo the court has occupied a number of locations over its long history.  Most recently the court moved to the Robert H. Jackson United States Courthouse located at 2 Niagara Square.  The modern ten-story courthouse was completed in the fall of 2011 with the court opening its doors for full operation in November of that same year.  Prior to occupying the Jackson Courthouse, the Buffalo division of the court was located at 68 Court Street in the Michael J. Dillon United States Courthouse.  The former home of the U.S. District Court has been determined to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing component to the Joseph Ellicott Historic District.  The building now houses the City of Buffalo Police and Fire Departments' headquarters.

The Kenneth B. Keating Building in Rochester, erected in 1973, emphasizes the separation between the branches of the United States Government.  The District Court is housed in the two-story building to the south, and is joined by an atrium with a six-story building to the north which houses employees of the Executive and Legislative branches.  Before moving to this newer building the U.S. District Court’s home in Rochester was on the corner of Church and Fitzhugh streets – currently Rochester City Hall.