Courtroom, Lobby, and Exterior Restoration
Courtroom 6-1 is part of the rich legal and architectural history of Florida. Located on the sixth floor of the historic Dade County Courthouse, it has provide the backdrop to many historic trials and individuals including notorious mob boss Al Capone; would-be assassin Giuseppe Zangara convicted for the 1933 attempted murder of Franklin D. Roosevelt; and the 1990 landmark tobacco trial. The restoration effort, which returned the courtroom to it’s original 1928 splendor, involved the rejuvenation of hand carved woodwork and beam ceilings; the recreation of ornate brass desk lamps and candelabra-like wall sconces; and the return of the courtroom’s original textured two tone wall finishes and tile flooring.
When the Dade County Courthouse opened in 1928, the Lobby was open-air with a central atrium space open to the floor above. The Lobby was eventually enclosed and air-conditioned in 1950 and the two story atrium was decked over.
Following years of neglect, the Dade County Courthouse began a restoration program implemented in phases over a 20 year time line. The award winning revitalization of Miami’s most prominent historic structure was made possible through the efforts of MC Harry Associates and their commitment to sustainable design and historic restoration. The initial challenge was to make the building weather tight. Focus was placed on restoration of the tower’s cracked and spalled terra cotta façade and leaking fenestration. The renovation and restoration process required the introduction of more than 500 new, historically accurate, windows and the replacement of more than 6000 individual ‘stones’. Armed with original blueprints and a collection of old photographs, MC Harry Associates gathered a team of technical consultants, historians and exceptional craftsmen to create innovative design solutions which included modernization of Courtroom 6-1 without compromising its underlying historic fabric, the restoration of the original ceiling mosaic artwork which was uncovered & restored, and the re-roofing the iconic metal pyramid.
LOCATION Miami, Florida
CLIENT General Service Administration
PROGRAM Historic Courthouse Renovation
AWARDS Florida Association AIA – Merit Award of Excellence
Miami Chapter AIA – Merit Award – Historic Restoration
Florida Trust for Historic Preservation – Award of Excellence
Dade Heritage Trust of Excellence