Courtroom towards Judge's Bench
Courtroom from Judge's Bench
Courtroom, West Side
Courtroom Left Side Before
Courtroom, East Side
Courtroom, East Side before Rehabilitation
Courtroom before Rehabilitation
Restored Window Detail
East Courtroom Windows on Addition's Hallway
Project: Sumter County Courthouse
Client: Sumter County
Location: 209 North Florida Street
Site: An existing courthouse originally built in 1914 and altered several times with additions.
Program Challenge: To restore the courthouse to its historic appearance while meeting grant requirements as well as the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for the Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings.
Solution: Rowe Architects completed this historic renovation in two phases. The first, completed in 1996, focused on exterior restoration. It included cleaning and repairing the masonry, replacing the non-historical windows with wood windows to match the originals, and repainting the wood work to match the original colors.
The second phase, completed in 2001, consisted primarily of replacing the roof and restoring the courtroom. The interior restoration removed non-historical elements, including the suspended ceiling and lighting, walls and doors adjacent to judge’s bench, a security railing at judge’s bench, and a covering over the east windows. Existing plaster walls and moldings were repaired, a plaster cove cornice that was removed was rebuilt, and a new plaster ceiling was installed. New custom-built light fixtures matching the original design were also installed, and after analysis to determine the courtroom’s original color scheme, the walls were painted.
Additional work to other parts of the building was also completed during the second phase. Non-historical elements, including an aluminum and glass storefront on the ground floor, a partition in the north stair, and a plaster covering over windows, were all removed. Water damaged plaster ceiling and walls were repaired, and the original heart pine wood flooring throughout the building was refinished. Some of the building’s original windows, found during new construction, were refinished and reglazed with a patterned glass. They were installed in the courtroom allowing light to again enter the space while providing visual privacy.
In 2002 the project was awarded the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation’s Outstanding Achievement Award.