1917 Chesterfield county courthouse interior

Chesterfield, VA

As the courthouse of a rural county, the 1917 Chesterfield County Courthouse served not only as the political center, but also as the social heart of this agrarian community. While visiting another project site in Chesterfield County, Davis Buckley noticed that the ridge of the roof of the 1917 Chesterfield County Courthouse was noticeably sagging. Observation of the interior showed that the ceiling of the courtroom was in similar disrepair. Davis Buckley Architects and Planners (DBA) then performed an expedited on site analysis and identified that the connections of the timber roof trusses were badly deteriorated and failing.

DBA then quickly developed a design for the interim bracing of the roof structure to prevent collapse and a strategy to jack the roof structure back into a level position.  In addition to restoring the settled  decorative, stained wood ceiling beams and replacing the deteriorated foam acoustic tiles with inset acoustical ceiling panels, interior work included jacking the grand stair, which had settled, back into proper alignment, and adding reinforcements for stabilization. Deteriorated and termite damaged floor joists were repaired or replaced, and wood floors were refinished. ADA compliant restrooms and drinking fountains were added as well as a masonry and concrete entry ramp to replace the existing non-compliant wood ramp. Fire and life safety upgrades included new exit signage, emergency lighting, and fire alarm components.