New Haven Courthouse Could Be In Line For Federal Repair Funds

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The imposing, Classical Revival-style courthouse on the green in New Haven could be in line for nearly $5 million in repairs as part of proposal to renovate and build new federally-owned buildings.

The courthouse on the green in New Haven could be in line for nearly $5 million in repairs. Photo courtesy U.S. General Administrative Services.

The courthouse on the green in New Haven could be in line for nearly $5 million in repairs. Photo courtesy U.S. General Services Administration.

The  Richard C. Lee U.S. Courthouse on Church Street in New Haven is one of 40 buildings and locations in 22 states and territories that are targeted for renovations and new construction in President Obama’s 2014 budget proposal. If approved by Congress, the sites would receive $2.2 billion in funding. The buildings are managed by the U.S. General Services Administration.

See a copy of the overall proposal here.

The New Haven courthouse, completed in 1919 and nearly lost to urban renewal in the 1960s, would get new, energy-efficient but historically-accurate windows. The windows are in such disrepair that some panes have already fallen out, endangering visitors to the edifice, the GSA said.

Portico of the Lee courthouse in New Haven. Photo courtesy of U.S. General Services Administration.

Portico of the Lee courthouse in New Haven. Photo courtesy of U.S. General Services Administration.

According to the proposal: “The Courthouse windows are severely deteriorated. They are up to 90 years old and require a high degree of maintenance, as they are plagued by material failures, e.g., shrinking and rotted wood sashes, crumbling sealant, etc…”

The last major renovation to the courthouse was in the 1980s, at a cost of $7.3 million.

The courthouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was rendered in an architectural style that was meant to convey the stability and dignity of government. The massive portico is dominated by soaring columns with Corinthian-style capitals with carved eagles and leaves. The exterior is rendered in Tennessee marble with bronze window sashes and grilles.

In a conference call this afternoon, acting GSA administrator Dan Tangherlini told reporters that the allocation would reverse several years in which $4 billion in deferred capital improvements.

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