Howard M. Metzenbaum U.S. Courthouse

  • Client

    • GSA
  • Project Type

Design Achievement – Constructed between 1905 and 1910 in the Beaux Arts style, the Howard M. Metzenbaum U.S. Courthouse is one of the country’s finest legacies treasured for its lavish spaces, exquisite murals, and finely detailed ornamentation. A National Historic Landmark structure, the building is one of the most significant landmarks in downtown Cleveland and is a key element anchoring the economic revival of the central core of the city. Selected through the GSA’s Design Excellence program, DLR Group’s renovation meets new requirements for function, efficiency, accessibility, sustainability, and security, while respecting the historic character of the structure. The project developed four courtrooms for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, preserved two courtrooms for the U.S. District Court, and developed tenant space in the balance of the landmark. The design concept solves modern circulation issues and internal organization requirements, while upholding and reclaiming the building’s historic circulation system. The conversion of the original light well into a central atrium – a five-level in-fill light court – captures opportunities for public access and space in the center of the building. Spanned entirely by a new skylight, the light court is the centerpiece of the design, solving circulation problems and increased security requirements, while imbuing the space with a spark of vitality.

Scope Summary – The award-winning 235,632 SF rehabilitation project included space alterations, circulation improvements, and complete replacement of HVAC, electrical, fire/life safety, security, alarm, and communications systems, all sensitively designed to minimize impact on the landmark structure. Integrating sustainability, modernization, and preservation, the project was the first adaptive re-use project in the GSA’s inventory to achieve LEED-NC certification. The project was part of a Solid Waste Reduction pilot program developed in collaboration with Cuyahoga County. Aggressive waste reduction was incorporated into all phases of the project, resulting in the recycling of more than 4,000 tons of material, 70 percent of all waste produced by the project. All of this created a financial benefit to the project of nearly $110,000. Under GSA’s Fine Arts Program, 35 murals depicting the history and development of mail delivery and executed in 1911 by American artist Francis Davis Millet (1846-1912), were conserved, restored, and reinstalled. The project met the Secretary of Interior Standards for Rehabilitation. DLR Group provided architecture, MEP engineering, interior design, historic preservation, and LEED consulting services.

Awards & Recognition

Back to Top
  • Academy of Architecture for Justice Knowledge Community Justice Facility Review

    American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Honor Award

    American Institute of Architects (AIA) Cleveland
  • Preservation Award

    American Institute of Architects (AIA) Cleveland
  • Merit Award, Renovation and Restoration

    American Institute of Architects (AIA) Ohio
  • Honor Award, Interior Design

    American Institute of Architects (AIA) Ohio
  • Citation in Preservation Design

    General Services Administration (GSA)
  • Environmental Award, Recycling Category

    General Services Administration (GSA)
  • PBS Demolition Derby Award

    General Services Adminstration (GSA) Exemplary Construction Waste Management
  • Interiors Award, Restoration Category

  • Award for Craftsmanship

    Builder's Exchange
  • Livable Buildings Awards Finalist, Honorable Mention

    Center for the Built Environment
  • Preservation Merit Award

    Ohio Historic Preservation Office
  • Downtown Development Award

    Downtown Cleveland Alliance
  • ARC Engineering Award, Honorable Mention

    Consulting-Specifying Engineer
  • Trustees Award for Preservation

    Cleveland Restoration Society
  • Office Building of the Year, International Award for Government Facilities

    Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA)