The Tate County Courthouse – a Mississippi Landmark – was fully restored in this project – including a state-funded restoration of the historic second floor courtroom. The original building is constructed of load bearing brick masonry walls and wood framing – with interior plaster walls and beaded board ceilings. The building was completely updated to be accessible with new utilities, systems, computer cabling and millwork to meet the occupant’s needs. Original finishes were restored and new partitions/finishes were incorporated. Paint analysis was conducted in the historic courtroom and the original paint colors were restored – resulting in a rich polychromatic scheme. This project was awarded an AIA/Mississippi Award of Merit, as well as design awards from Mississippi Heritage Trust, Mississippi Historical Society and the Mississippi Main Street Association.
One of the primary challenges of this project was to add approximately twice the existing square footage without detracting from the historic structure. The solution entailed placing an addition incorporating two additional courtrooms and the majority of the back court functions on the back side of the courthouse with a courtyard between the two. This courtyard gives the appearance of two separate buildings connected by an overhead walkway. A one story annex was added to the historic building in the 1970’s. Through minor alterations and the placement of the new addition, the 1970’s annex has been sympathetically incorporated into the overall scheme. The interior of the new addition was inspired by the interiors of the historic courthouse. Items such as custom beaded board wainscoting, 12” high wood baseboards and period light fixtures were used to unify the building.
Client: Tate County Board of Supervisors
Date Completed: 2000