The President has called for important, common sense investments in the nation’s public buildings. Investments like these enable GSA to properly maintain and improve the real estate assets owned and paid for by the American people. The 100-year-old Richard C. Lee United States Courthouse in New Haven, Connecticut is one of the New England Region’s projects answering this call, along with others nationwide.
As part of the recent Consolidated Appropriations Act, GSA can start to make progress on years of deferred maintenance in our portfolio of federal buildings. The Lee Courthouse is receiving $4.8 million to fund a project that will preserve the historic building, improve its energy performance to cut costs, and ensure that it can continue to serve the public. Every dollar we spend on repairs upfront saves four dollars in potential costs later.
The Lee Courthouse project will rehabilitate 225 windows damaged due to severe frame disintegration, dislodged panes, and weather infiltration, which significantly affect the building’s utility costs. The work will move forward under phased segments to avoid relocating occupants, which will save taxpayer dollars on temporary leased spaces.
The Lee Courthouse stands as a shrine to local history while also housing vital government services. It was constructed between 1913 and 1919, and it is an architecturally elegant three-story building, classically styled in stone and concrete. In the 1960’s local preservation groups and judges saved the building from demolition. The building’s last renovation was in the 1980’s, and it was named after former New Haven Mayor Richard C. Lee in 1998. The courthouse is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Throughout its life, the building has been used as a courthouse and a post office. Today, it is home to the U.S. Courts and the U.S. Marshal Service. The Lee Courthouse is prominently located adjacent to the historic New Haven Green – the country’s first example of urban planning – and is opposite Yale University in an area with several other government buildings, including the recently renovated Robert N. Giaimo Federal Building. With this project, GSA is taking measures to ensure the Lee Courthouse’s viability as an important and active location in New Haven’s historically significant urban landscape.