Lowell Justice Center Receives New Designation

Lowell, MA – Finegold Alexander Architects, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, DCAMM, Executive Office of the Trial Court and the City of Lowell recently celebrated the Designation Ceremony of the Cornelius F. Kiernan Judicial Center in Lowell.

The Boston-based firm completed the $146 million facility, previously known as the Lowell Justice Center, in March 2020. The new name honors Cornelius F. Kiernan, a former special justice who served in the Somerville and Lowell District Courts, as well as in the U.S. Army, as the house majority leader and as the house chair of the Joint Judiciary Committee.

Located within the Lowell National Historic Park, the new 7-story, 265,000sf universally accessible building contains 17 courtrooms across five court departments including Superior, District, Housing, Juvenile, and Probate and Family Courts. The building also contains office space for court staff, a Court Service Center, Law Library, the Registry of Deeds, Office of the District Attorney, and a Grand Jury Room.

The building, designed to use 40% the energy of a typical facility, is LEED Platinum certified, the first courthouse in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and first state courthouse in the country to receive this certification. A tight building envelope coupled with glazing that maximizes daylighting, chilled beams and displacement ventilation, and photo-voltaic panels are some of its many sustainable features. Other building features include universal accessibility, a rational stacking of court departments to facilitate wayfinding, and an entrance lobby glass art installation that features symbols of justice.

“The justice center was thoughtfully designed to properly serve the people and community,” said Jeff Garriga, AIA, LEED AP+, principal at Finegold Alexander Architects. “We are thrilled to officially celebrate the ribbon cutting of the Justice Center designed to balance functionality, accessibility, security and sustainability, creating a dignified and welcoming civic contribution to Lowell.”