It has been said that a County Courthouse holds the heart and soul of the community it serves. All of life’s milestones, every birth, every marriage, every passing, are recorded here; and the Dade County Courthouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, very much exemplifies this perspective.
Acknowledged as one of Miami’s most revered and iconic architectural treasures, the Courthouse and its Lobby have long been identified as prime candidates for restoration. The Lobby, decked over in the 1950’s with no sensitivity for historic context or its vintage detailing, had lost its central two story atrium and sense of grand public space.
Armed with original blueprints and a collection of old photographs, MC Harry Associates was able to gather a team of technical consultants and exceptional craftsmen to repair and replace damaged and missing architectural elements; returning the lobby to its original 1928 splendor.
Fundamental to the restoration process was the replication of terracotta balustrades, decorative beam bottoms, and wall mounted lighting sconces. The custom brass light fixture castings unique to the courthouse lobby were recreated based upon old photographs from the 1930s. Original ceiling mosaic artwork depicting Florida’s early history was reclaimed displaying a marvel of intricate detail.
MC Harry Associates mobilized a private funding campaign, matched dollar for dollar with a State Historic Preservation Grant, to finance this first in a series of building restorations