SFS Architecture

Des Moines U.S. Courthouse

Des Moines, IA

Historic courthouse renovation design, delivered without disrupting operations


Restore an historically significant federal courthouse – without service disruptions during construction – to preserve the structure’s beauty and usability.


Through multiple work orders, SFS worked with GSA management, field office representatives, building tenants and construction contractors to meet the design requirements for this historic building. The design team also coordinated with the State Historic Preservation Office for all restoration measures.


Exterior restoration of the 97,171 SF, Beaux Arts−style courthouse, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, included limestone, marble and granite tuckpointing, stone repair and stone replacement. New glass entry canopies, granite planters and building signage were designed to provide an appropriately formal entry, and options were evaluated for a durable, long-lasting roof with historically compatible materials. Inside, reconstruction of historic elevator cabs and fixtures were reconstructed, wood paneling and millwork restored, and interior stone cladding refinished. The project was completed with minimal disruption to courthouse operations.

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