National – The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) awarded a design services contract to EYP Architecture & Engineering for the modernization and repair of the Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse located in Detroit, Mich. Constructed from 1932-1934, the 772,000-square-foot historic facility is the home for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and a number of other federal agencies.
“Being selected for such an important project is an honor and a tribute to the collaborative design culture at EYP,” said Matthew Chalifoux, AIA, EYP’s Lead Project Designer. “This type of project is a perfect combination of our skills in historic preservation, architectural design, and engineering. Through similar projects we have learned that to successfully meet this challenge we will need to develop a close working relationship with GSA, the building tenants, and the contractor.”
Designed by Robert O. Derrick, a local Detroit architect, the building is a representation of Derrick’s interpretation of the Classical Modern Style. As such, the structure includes many classical design elements, but also incorporates the verticality, simplicity, and streamlined quality typically associated with Modern architecture. In 1994, the courthouse was renamed in honor of former presiding Judge Theodore Levin, who served on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan from 1946 until his death in 1970. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009 as a contributing resource to the Detroit Financial Historic District.
Awarded under the GSA Design Excellence program, the project scope will include replacement of the mechanical and electrical systems, life safety improvements, upgrades to the elevators and modernization of the public restrooms. All of the work will be carefully developed to be sensitive to the historic building and, where possible, to reclaim lost or damaged historic building fabric. The design and construction will be planned to keep the building fully occupied and will include the design and fit-out of swing space to accommodate staff during the multiple phases of construction.
The Theodore Levin Courthouse project is an example of GSA’s continuing commitment to Design Excellence. Formally created in 1994 GSA’s Design Excellence Program was established to ensure that federal architecture would be a source of pride in local communities, and to attract the best design talent available for creating outstanding facilities to serve the American public. The programs objectives focus on creating and preserving buildings that express the vision, leadership, and commitment of the government to serving the public and the values of the nation.