Last month, we first reported from a credible source that Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill (SOM) had already been chosen by the US General Services Administration (GSA) to design the new federal courthouse at First and Broadway in the Civic Center. Then early yesterday morning, I received a press release from Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard’s office confirming that SOM was indeed awarded the contract along with architecture engineering firm Clark Construction.
The site where the new federal courthouse will be built, at First and Broadway, is currently an abandoned sunken dirt lot. A very large sunken dirt lot at 3.6 acres. This eye sore has been a gaping hole in the urban fabric, preventing the Civic Center from connecting with the Historic Core along Broadway and Hill or up to Bunker Hill along First Street.
When completed in 2016, the new federal courthouse will fill in this gaping hole, adding to the urban continuity of the built environment in the Civic Center. That’s a big plus for pedestrians and businesses nearby. It’s important to view the courthouse as not only just “another building,” but as a critical piece that will help Downtown LA mature into a first-rate urban center.
[Update 12/13/12: Newer renderings from ArchDaily]