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Leavenworth County Courthouse Renovation

Leavenworth County Courthouse Renovation

Leavenworth, Kansas


The historic Leavenworth County Courthouse, a grand Classical Revival style building, was completed in 1913 and built upon the foundation of an old Second Empire-style courthouse destroyed by fire on March 22, 1911. According to the building’s 2002 National Register of Historic Places nomination, the Leavenworth County Courthouse is “one of a few county courthouses to have a ‘pure,’ Greek-inspired, Classical Revival treatment that incorporates a projecting pedimented portico supported by classical columns on its primary façades.” In addition, the building is “architecturally significant for the retention of its original floor plan configuration and hierarchy of space.”


After construction of a new Justice Center, the existing historic courthouse needed to be renovated. The courthouse was last renovated in the 1970s and had not been touched since. Areas vacated by the courts was needed for the expansion of the County administrative office already located in the building. SFS assessed the building for compliance with building codes and ADA accessibility, and inspected the interior and exterior for deterioration, deferred maintenance and structural integrity.


The mechanical system was replaced in its entirety with energy-efficient units. New ductwork in soffits allowed ceilings to be raised to their original height. The building is on the historic register requiring all public spaces to be maintained and historic finishes to be refurbished.


SFS developed a master plan for the renovation and restoration of the entire three-story courthouse in coordination with the State Historic Preservation Office and assisted the County in grant application. A $90,000 Heritage Trust Fund grant and State Rehabilitation Tax Credits helped offset the renovation cost.


The renovation was completed in four phases to minimize disruption of continuing operations and accommodate availability of funds. Exterior work included replacing the non-original metal-clad windows, repointing and resetting the limestone veneer at the entrances, repairing and repainting the soffits and trim, installing new downspouts, and renovating the handicap accessible entrance.


The central rotunda, a distinguishing interior feature, underwent the most stunning transformation and now boasts a newly cleaned stained glass dome, painted walls and wrought-iron handrails, refinished doors and trim, and cleaned and repaired terrazzo flooring, marble stair treads, and wainscot. Other interior work included renovations to both the public spaces and the offices on all floors, including new HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems; upgraded restrooms and elevator; restoration of public corridors and adaptive reuse of courtrooms and other spaces for County Administration.


SFS analyzed current and projected needs for interior space, provided space planning, workstations and furniture layouts, coordinated furniture design and procurement, selected finishes, provided construction documents and construction administration.


Justice, Preservation