DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES — Federal officials this morning announced that  Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Architects has won the contract to build a $400 million Downtown courthouse.

SOM, which was founded in Chicago and has a Los Angeles office, will partner with Clark Construction on the 500,000-square-foot building slated to rise on the southwest corner of First Street and Broadway.

“Today, the new federal courthouse is that much closer to becoming a reality for downtown Los Angeles,” said Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard in a prepared statement. The selection, she said, “means we are moving toward the groundbreaking of a critically needed facility that will resolve long-standing security and space issues.”

The team beat out four other finalists who had been announced in March. Design work will begin immediately, with construction tentatively scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2013. Completion is expected by 2016, according to Roybal-Allard’s office.

Early renderings depict a simple rectangular design that appears to be fronted by glass.

The project will rise on a 3.6-acre eyesore property that once held a state office building. The Civic Center project will include 24 courtrooms, 32 judges’ chambers and 110 parking spots. It would house district judges, jury assembly facilities, offices for the U.S. Marshals service and others.

SOM’s credits include the 31-story Chicago Civic Center, the FBI Denver Field Office and the under-construction NATO Headquarters in Belgium. SOM has also previously worked with Clark Construction on the San Francisco Civic Center Complex completed in 1998.

This marks the second current Civic Center project for Maryland-based Clark Construction. The company is partners with architecture firm AC Martin on the $231 million renovation of the Hall of Justice.


©Los Angeles Downtown News.


(4) comments


Let's hope that the initial renderings do not indicate a final design. SOM has done some good work in the past, but this project makes them look like tightly budgeted rank amateurs. As is, the building meets the typical Federal standard for banality.


Ugh.....just ugh. So boring....I am not even going to waste my time to come up with any interesting insults towards this design.


A fantastic effort considering it must've taken a whole hour and a half to come up with this.

Brad Lloyd

A glass cube ? This is the kind of garbage they built in the 1950s & 1960s !

The should build something with personality and maybe have a resemblance to the old Courthouse on Broadway.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.