Thurgood Marshall US Courthouse Renovation

Manhattan, New York

At this cherished Neo-Italianate landmark designed by Cass Gilbert in 1932, Urbahn designed three projects involving historic preservation, renovation and upgrade. Five grand courtrooms were brought back to their original splendor, with new integrated technologies to support contemporary judicial practices. The design called for peeling away layers of insensitive modern finishes to reveal the original materials, and then carefully refurbishing them. Restored elements included gilded plaster, oak wainscoting, bronze ornamentation, and antique lighting fixtures. The adaptive retrofit of the old bankruptcy courts into District & Magistrate Courts involved a complete gut renovation of the second floor to create five court suites, law library and administrative offices, all based on a modern interpretation of Cass Gilbert’s design vocabulary. The third project involved the preservation and upgrade of public elevator lobbies and restrooms throughout the building.

Client: US General Services Administration