Justice Adolpho Birch to be Honored with Statue Dedication at Nashville Building Named in his Honor

July 26, 2016

A statue of Justice Adolpho A. Birch, Jr., will be dedicated August 27 to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Justice A.A. Birch Building in downtown Nashville.

Justice Adolpho Birch was the first African-American to serve as Chief Justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court and spent 37 years in the judiciary, serving at the General Sessions, Trial, intermediate Appellate and Supreme Court levels.

The statue honoring Justice Birch will be an eight-foot bronze sculpture with a four- foot granite base and historical marker affixed permanently in the plaza area outside the front of the Justice A.A. Birch Buildingthat houses the general sessions and criminal courts in Nashville. The tribute is designed by sculptor Brian Hanlon.

Birch, who in 1996-1997 was the state’s first African-American chief justice, began his judicial career in 1969 when Gov. Buford Ellington appointed Birch as a General Sessions Court judge in Davidson County, making him the first African American to serve in that office. In 1978 he was appointed Criminal Court judge for the 20th District (Davidson County) by Governor Ray Blanton. Again, he was the first black ever to serve in this capacity. In 1987, he was appointed to the Court of Criminal Appeals. He was elected to the appellate court in 1988 and was re-elected in 1990. Gov. Ned McWherter appointed Birch to the state Supreme Court in 1993. He was elected to the court the following year and re-elected to an eight-year term in 1998.

The 10-year anniversary celebration starts at 5 p.m. on August 27 and will include a reception, ribbon cutting and a dinner award celebration with live music. Click here to register to attend event. Tickets for the dinner are $150.