The Federal Courthouse in Springfield, Massachusetts is a large modern building with an entire edifice of glass facing the street. With its “cascading concave roof gracefully framing the space in a delicate shell of steel and glass,” the courthouse is an imposing sight. But even more impressive than this wall of steel and glass are the two ancient trees that the courthouse was obviously built to accommodate. The glass walls literally curve around a huge old copper beech that looks like it’s been standing there for centuries and the largest Tillia europa, or linden tree, that I’ve ever seen. It’s apparent that the architects took these trees into account when planning and building this courthouse. I later learned that indeed, the designers felt that “their presence was too powerful to ignore,” and the preservation of these trees “was a key element in the design proposal that emerged” for the courthouse.