Photo By Bob Schatz
Davidson County Courthouse
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
National Register of Historic Places
Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects worked with local Nashville Architects Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon, Inc. for the renovation and restoration of the Metropolitan Nashville Davidson County Courthouse and Public Building. The 270,000 square foot building, with its Neoclassical facade and Art Deco interior was constructed in 1935, is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a regional landmark.
Upon completion of a survey and programming phase, particular areas of concern were revealed; such as cracking and displacement of the Indiana limestone façade, flaking and peeling of the paint coating of the steel windows and subsequent surface rusting, cracked and broken panes of glass, and cracking and deterioration of decorative bas-relief gold painted windows. On the interior, significance ratings were assigned to all rooms based on the level of integrity or survival of the original architectural features. Condition surveys were conducted for highly significant rooms; including public circulation spaces, courtrooms, and representative rooms. This survey determined spaces appropriate for restoration and architectural elements that should be preserved, as well as appropriate program uses for each space.
Finally, design and preparation of contract documents were prepared for the overall restoration of the building. Many features were restored while newly designed features were introduced to complement the historic building. The courthouse was upgraded to a fully code compliant public building while respecting its historic quality.