Located on Main Street in an historically sensitive town, the addition to and renovation of the 1930’s Franklin County Courthouse adds significant new space and reconceives the original building to create a coherent new whole for Greenfield’s future.
The design carefully restores the front of the original building for use by the clerk and probation departments, while the much larger addition houses a new entry, six courtrooms, a law library, detainee circulation and a jury pool room. The separated prisoner, public and judges circulation do not cross paths until they meet at the courtroom.
Despite its size, this significant addition does not overwhelm the existing smaller scale building. The elements above the cornice of the historic structure are light and ephemeral, reflecting the sky. The glazed top floor sits above three-story masonry block, made of the same limestone as the base of the original courthouse. The new entry is relocated from Main Street to the side at the juncture of old and new buildings. An extended roof canopy and glass wall frame the new entry and public zone of the courthouse. The visitor circulates through the visually interconnected public spaces, finally arriving at the courtrooms, which are serene and luminous spaces filled with natural light- a theater for one of the important functions of our democracy.
In the original building, modern courthouse functional requirements demanded a complete reconfiguration and renovation, with historic elements carefully preserved and the historical sensibility maintained. Original lighting fixtures, millwork, and building carvings are restored and relocated to significant points in the building.