Built around 1835, the Franklin County Courthouse in Frankfort, Ky., has the features of many civic buildings constructed at the time — symmetry and stately limestone columns typical of Greek Revival architecture.
When the courthouse needed additional space, adding 95,000 square feet to the existing structure was also an opportunity to give the exterior a facelift — and in the process, honor President Abraham Lincoln, who was born in Kentucky.
The resulting $23 million LEED facility is now an example of how a government building can effectively marry past with the present.
A new all-LED lighting scheme figured prominently into the plans — and earned CMTA Consulting Engineers an IES Illumination Award of Merit.
Approaching the front entrance, a new outdoor plaza is framed by 16 new limestone columns — a nod to Lincoln being the nation’s 16th president.
Each column houses two thin iLight Plexineon LED fixtures. Plexineon’s slim profile made it possible to recess the fixtures into narrow, vertical channels.
At night, the limestone columns become pillars of light. The illumination of the exterior – the war memorial, flags and stairs — is dramatic. During the day, however, the fixtures are appropriately invisible, as focus shifts to the important work happening inside.