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Friday, June 12, 2009

Historic Courthouse on Judiciary Square, Washington, D.C., United States

Beyer Blinder Belle completes US courthouse restoration
After a four-year restoration, a storied courthouse situated on Washington D.C.’s Judiciary Square, is set to be rededicated on June 17th. Restored to its former grandeur by New York architect Beyer Blinder Belle, the building provides through its renovation and expansion, much needed space for the DC Court of Appeals while imparting new life to Judiciary Square, an important public green space designed by Pierre L’Enfant.

Dating to 1821, the Historic Courthouse, is the fourth oldest public building in Washington D.C. It is notable for having housed the law offices for Daniel Webster and Francis Scott Key and as the place where John Surratt, a conspirator in the assignation of President Abraham Lincoln, was tried. Vacant since 1999, the building required a major overhaul

Through it’s restoration, Beyer Blinder Belle has transformed the venerated structure into a fully functioning modern courthouse. New facilities have been added below grade including a grand ceremonial courtroom, reception and exhibit space and administrative spaces while much of the building’s historic fabric has been preserved and restored, including the exterior facades, marble and terrazzo flooring, plaster ceilings and moldings, and light fixtures.

A hallmark of the design is the addition of a new two-storey glass and steel entrance pavilion that importantly reorients the building to Judiciary Square, where many of the D.C. courts are situated, while creating a formal forecourt.

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent

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