Project: Lorain County Justice Center
Special Project Management Office
The Lorain County Justice Center is a seven-story, 224,000 square foot building that houses The Lorain County Court of Common Pleas, General Division, Probate Division and Domestic Relations Division, the Lorain County Prosecutor’s office, the Lorain County Clerk of Courts offices, defendant holding areas and the Sheriff’s Civil Office.
The Justice Center was designed to serve the citizens of Lorain County with expansion capability to the year 2025. The additional staff, visitors and users of this new building will impact the current economic and social base of Downtown Elyria in a positive manner.
The Lorain County Justice Center consolidates all of the County Courts and their support services that had been housed in six separate buildings. The building is designed to provide a secure facility consistent with the guidelines of the Ohio Supreme Court rules prescribing security and safety.
The entrance to the new Justice Center faces the Town Square and the existing historic courthouse. The floor level of the building is raised above the sidewalk level with steps, planters, benches, and a plaza befitting a place of gathering and public importance.
The secure lobby area, a grand double-height space, is the heart the entry sequence. It is the building’s primary orientation space from which the public proceeds to all other spaces in the building.
Behind the courtrooms are secure areas for judges, jurors, and court staff. Separate vertical circulation is provided for the public, judges, service and detainees. A shared holding area for detainees is provided for each pair of courtrooms
The building mirrors and interprets the scale of the Town Square and surrounding buildings. The elevator tower reflects the towers of the adjacent churches and the southern end of the square. The Third Street façade is organized around brick-faced modules with the size and window placements of the residential buildings across the street.
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