Historic Chambers and Courtroom Renovation
The project required design for a USDC Courtroom and Chambers within the existing space on the 8th floor of the Theodore Levin US Courthouse to renovate tenant offices and associated courtroom. Within the Chambers, all of the flush-mounted fluorescent lights were replaced with pendants and custom surface-mounted fixtures that were deemed period-appropriate. New work included steel stud and gypsum board wall furring and finishes as well as woodworking to install new doors, frames, and hardware. Original wood walnut paneling was restored and new built-in shelving added. In the Courtroom, new Court Reporter and Deputy desks were added to match existing millwork.
The renovation required research of the original drawings and specifications as well as photographs during construction. Although many of the 1934 materials remained, the original lighting had been replaced with fluorescent fixtures mounted to the plaster ceilings. The objective of this project was to renovate the spaces for a new occupant and upgrade the lighting in a way that is sensitive to the original design while still being functional and energy-efficient. The drawing set from the 1934 construction provides a significant amount of detail regarding the courtrooms and chambers as they were intended to be constructed. This includes reflected ceiling plans, interior elevations, and lighting designs for the spaces with the highest level of finish.