As Sherman Carter Barnhart Architects proudly celebrates its one-year anniversary in our new building, we reflect on a transformative journey marked by innovation, collaboration,
Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Complex Circuit Courthouse
The design goal was to create a building that reflects the stability and longevity of the courts, while providing a functional plan that affords security for the judges and staff as well as accessibility for the public.
Architecturally, the building massing reflects the programmatic organization, with the two court buildings, in a linear orientation facing a new public plaza. The parking garage is located behind, and adjacent to the District Court with vehicular access from two streets. The scale of the new complex is in keeping with the adjacent Federal Court Building, which is located across the street. By creating this public plaza, a new classic centerpiece for downtown Lexington was fashioned reflecting the traditional, distinctive styles and characteristics found throughout the city.
The Circuit Courthouse has 9 courtrooms. A grand staircase leads the public from the first to second floor. The top floor is set back from the façade below, while a full length ground level loggia provides covered access for the public.
While similar detailing is present on both court buildings, contrasting but complimentary central lobby facades were designed to give each building a unique identity. The circuit courthouse features a rounded entry with custom scallop detail. There is an underground tunnel linking the courthouses. Security features include restricted areas for judges and their staff as well as secure areas for inmates.
The selection of smooth cast stone was made to harmonize with the existing limestone of the adjacent Federal Court Building as well as create the feel of permanence and importance, for these monumental civic buildings.