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Specialist Instruction on Historic Old Court House

Partner Engineering and Science, Inc. was engaged by the project contractor Tarlton Corporation to provide a Historic Preservation Treatment Plan (HPTP) and followed up with Preservation Project Monitoring for the Old Court House in St Louis, Missouri.

The Historic Architecture Solutions services are in support of a $26 million construction renovation, as a major component of the $380 million CityArchRiver Project. The HPTP was required for preservation compliance. To obtain a Notice to Proceed, Tarlton contracted Partner due to our trusted position with the National Park Service (NPS) and historic building expertise and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) checklists, reviews, assessments, and compliance services. As a result of Partner’s work, the project team has realized significant schedule certainty and NPS has achieved custodianship and quality benefits.

Upon project completion, which is only the second significant renovation to the building in its 200-year history, the building will be prepared to serve the next generations of visitors while maintaining its highly significant historic integrity and architectural character.

The Old Courthouse is a building of national significance and one of the most iconic in St. Louis, being a five-story (plus basement), masonry structure built between 1839 and 1864 and rendered in the Greek Revival style of architecture. The Old Courthouse is owned and operated by the NPS. Due to its high significance is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a major component of the Gateway Arch National Park which is listed as a National Historic Landmark.

Partner’s very detailed scope of work included the development of a comprehensive HPTP to be used as primary guidance during restoration, rehabilitation, and new construction activities. The team provided design guidance, defined areas of impact, recommended mitigation strategies, and addressed potential challenges during the project. The process included several focused site visits to identify and establish a hierarchy of significant spaces and materials at the site not only for this specific construction project but also for future preservation and planning.

Using the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards, and in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966, the team defined important elements of the building and site dating as far back as the 1820s and provided technical recommendations and methods of rehab and preservation of those elements that over time have also become historic. The project addressed building and safety code compliance, new building systems and equipment, universal accessibility upgrades, and repurposing existing historic materials for educational purposes. Partner is engaged in ongoing monitoring of these aspects.

The site and building is a complex and unique Nationally significant historic property with over 200 years of historical, artistic, and architectural development. Nearly every space and component of the building and larger site is considered “sacred” and thus a protocol of treatments had to be pre-established and approved prior to commencement of construction activities.

Project Highlights

  • 200-yr Old Site
  • Historic Preservation Treatment Plan
  • Preservation Project Monitoring
  • Federal Project
  • National Park Service Owned Property

Project Leads

Need to Know

Project Location
St. Louis, MO
Start Date
December 22, 2022
Tarlton Corporation

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