Augusta County submits courthouse expansion plan to Staunton commission

Augusta County submits courthouse expansion plan to Staunton commission
An elevated view from the corner shows the design concept for the 1901 Augusta County courthouse, the Echols Building, and expansion, which will serve as a backdrop, keeping the historic buildings an important focal point for downtown Staunton. (Source: Augusta County)

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Augusta County has taken the next step in its planned overhaul of its courthouse in downtown Staunton.

It submitted a certificate of appropriateness application to Staunton’s Historic Preservation Committee.

The plan - as seen in a rendering submitted with the project - includes a five-story expansion around the existing 1901 courthouse and Echols building. It will also enclose Court Place, known as Barrister’s Row.

The commission will discuss the proposal on October 27.


Courthouse Application Submitted to Historic Preservation Commission

VERONA, VA –October 6, 2020

Augusta County has submitted an application for a certificate of appropriateness to the City of Staunton’s Historic Preservation Commission. The application includes descriptions, drawings, photographs, plans, and documentation that are required by the commission.

The application highlights the commitment to permanent preservation through rehabilitation of the 1901 historic Courthouse and the Echols Building, two signature buildings completed in Staunton by noted architect T.J. Collins. Adaptively reusing these buildings will allow the 1901 historic courthouse to remain the County’s courthouse and an important focal point for downtown Staunton, while the Echols Building will help anchor the street corner presence. The historic exterior of the courthouse will be preserved and care will be taken to complete the rehabilitation work in a manner that preserves the building’s character defining features and historic building materials.

In an innovative design concept, the historic courthouse’s north and east elevations will be partially enclosed by the proposed addition and will remain visible within the building interior. Court Place, known as Barrister’s Row, will be enclosed within the addition and serve as the main pedestrian access on the first floor, with main public entry and security screening off South Augusta Street.

The five-story expansion will serve as a backdrop to the historic courthouse, with architecture compatible with the character of the historic courthouse but differentiated so as not to mimic the design elements of the existing building. The expansion’s exterior materials will include red brick and stone, complementary to that of the 1901 historic courthouse and the existing Echols Building. Exterior synthetic wood trim will reflect the neoclassical revival and beaux-arts style of the historic courthouse. A larger window opening at the south elevation of the expansion will afford sweeping views of the historic courthouse from all building levels.

Candy Hensley, assistant to the county administrator, is serving as manager for the courthouse project. Hensley said, “We have a team of professionals on board who bring a wealth of experience in historic preservation consulting, identification of historic materials, and technical preservation expertise. We are excited to present this proposal to the historic commission.”

The application was facilitated by Moseley Architects with subconsultants, Timmons Group and Sadler & Whitehead Architects, PLC. Moseley Architects, an engineering and architectural services firm based in Richmond, Virginia, offers over 50 years of experience partnering with more than four dozen counties and cities in the Commonwealth to design over 125 court facilities. Mosely’s experience features over 50 additions and renovation projects with seasoned planners and designers who represent work on an extensive portfolio of local government, judicial, and public safety projects.

Sadler & Whitehead Architects PLC, is a small, Richmond-based firm, that focuses on historic preservation and adaptive reuse. Sadler and Whitehead brings a unique depth of experience in incorporating new construction within a historic context as well as in developing modern and functional solutions within the limitations of existing structures while preserving their historic character.

Timmons Group, with a local office in Staunton, brings a wealth of experience and expertise in surveying, geotechnical and other civil engineering aspects.

The commission will discuss the proposed certificate of appropriateness at a public meeting on October 27. The County looks forward to a decision about the application at that time.

###

ABOUT AUGUSTA COUNTY, VIRGINIA: Established in 1738, the County of Augusta is located in the Shenandoah Valley and is the second-largest county in Virginia. Surrounded by the Blue Ridge and Alleghany mountain ranges, Augusta County is home to nearly 75,000 people, a diverse business and manufacturing base, a rich agricultural history, and a strong educational system benefitting from 12 area colleges and universities. Learn more about initiatives and news at www.AugustaCountyVA.gov.

Copyright 2020 WVIR. All rights reserved.