The historic renovation of the iconic 21-story St. Paul City Hall and Ramsey County Courthouse in downtown St. Paul was one of the most ambitious restorations ever completed in the Upper Midwest. Originally constructed in 1932, the 336,000-square-foot building is included on the National Register of Historic Places, and has provided the backdrop for everything from famous trials to Hollywood movies.
The renovation involved a complete replacement of the building’s mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems. The building houses the City of St. Paul and Ramsey County administrative offices and conference centers, Ramsey County Judicial District courts, and court administrative functions. All of these critical functions were able to remain active throughout construction thanks to PCL’s complex phasing strategy.
Eight new courtrooms and five new judge’s chambers were added, along with jury rooms and attorney/client interview rooms. The entire building was outfitted with historically acceptable ramps, railings, doorways, and toilets to meet all accessibility requirements under the American Disabilities Act.
Special considerations included refinishing all ornamental bronze, nickel, and silver doors; railings; ceilings; light fixtures; and other architectural metalwork. Over 11,000 square feet of gold leaf was removed, repaired, and reinstalled as part of construction. Sixteen different types of domestic and foreign wood millwork were similarly removed, restored, and replaced.