Built in the early 1900s, the Missoula County Courthouse is a key component of the city’s central business district. The neoclassical sandstone building boasts numerous original historic elements, including an ironclad cupola and clock tower with a two-ton bell. Spanning nearly a decade, a multi-phased renovation restored the historic structure according to guidelines set by The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. A&E Design worked closely with each county department throughout the process, reimagining and reprogramming spaces to align with current and future requirements.
The wide scope of work encompassed the entire courthouse and annex building, and required a variety of rehabilitation and preservation treatments, including terracotta tile restoration, granite resurfacing, masonry repointing, and decorative concrete replacement, in addition to the completion of ADA accessibility requirements. Methods to protect and display eight historic murals, painted by American frontier artist, E.S. Paxson, were explored, including the installation of stanchions, protective glazing, alternative lighting, and UV protection film. A comprehensive assessment led to electrical, IT, seismic, fire, ADA, and LEED upgrades. Code issues, commissioning, brownfields (environmental), and energy rebates were also addressed, with spaces reprogrammed for present and future needs. The revitalized Missoula County Courthouse stands ready to serve the community for generations to come.