The King County Courthouse Lobby Restoration

Seattle, Washington

Before and After Photos

King County Courthouse, completed in 1916, was remodeled in 1967 for a more "modern" look; the marble lobby floors were covered with terrazzo tiles, the marble wainscoting was removed and replaced with pre-cast concrete slabs, and the decorative plaster ceilings were hidden beneath acoustical tile. Fortunately, in 1976, the Pioneer Square National Historic District was expanded to include the Courthouse and in 1987 it was registered a King County Landmark. This status ensured that any future renovations would work to restore the Courthouse to its original design, and it created the impetus that King County needed to begin taking on the restorations necessary to do so.
An historic photo of the lobby (Above Right) and photos of the Courthouse lobby after the restoration (Top Center and Above Left).

Additional photos

Architectural Castings was brought on the project to recreate the multitude of shapes necessary to restore the elevator lobbies and decorative ceiling plaster. We spent time on-site, taking field dimensions of the long damaged and newly exposed plaster ceilings. We recreated the original elevator pediments, the elliptical ceiling profiles, cornice profiles, and dentals for the elliptical lobby. The parts were made in a lightweight, thin-shelled plaster material, and then painted after installation.