The site was for this project was directly across the street from the Jefferson County Courthouse and included an historically significant structure built in 1905 – known as the St. Margaret’s Building. It was constructed of masonry and wood with three floors plus a basement for a total of about 10,000 square feet. Its exterior appearance was very striking with ornate bracket supported balconies, masonry piers and large window openings terminating on the third floor in a series of Palladian arches capped by a deep projected cornice.
This project was undertaken by a private developer to help Jefferson County fulfill a need for more judicial space concentrated in a single location close to the existing historic courthouse. The County wanted a structure that was compatible with the established architectural fabric of the town and one that would bring dignity to its judicial functions. Security and accessibility were high priorities for the project.
The design solution provided by Helbing Lipp Recny Architects called for renovating the existing structure and expanding it with an addition onto the adjacent available site, nearly tripling the area of the building. Great effort was made to preserve the integrity of the original design while expanding it on every level. The expansion added 18,500 square feet to the building, creating a total space of 28,300 square feet of rentable space.
The County leased the entire building from the developer and Helbing Lipp Recny Architects provided interior design for two magistrate courtrooms, hearing rooms and attorney’s offices, as well as a prisoner holding facility in the basement.