-

Visit the Washington State Capitol

Building Projects

-

Current Projects

Capitol Court Exterior Repairs

Updated May 13, 2020

Most of the work to restore the exterior of the Capitol Court Building is complete, however damage from the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake was discovered during the renovation and needs to be repaired. During the earthquake, large stones of a column were displaced, creating a high risk of damage in the event of another earthquake. 

Displaced stone columns

The repair will require the contractor to carefully remove each column stone and replace it back to its original location. The stones will be anchored to the building structure, which will involve additional drilling which will be noisy at times. The repair work is scheduled to begin this this week and substantial completion of the entire project is scheduled for mid-August.

Some parking and pedestrian routes are impacted by the scaffolding. Signs with pedestrian detours and alternative parking information are posted. 

Work to restore the original wood framed windows is complete.

This construction work is considered essential. A COVID-19 safety and protection plan is in place. All construction activity must comply with social distancing guidelines and applicable health and worker protection measures before proceeding with and throughout construction activities.

See a schedule of the project.

See a map of parking availability around the building.

Read an article in The Olympian about the restoration.

The Department of Enterprise Services is committed to inclusion and equal opportunity. Persons with a disability who need assistance with an agency process or need an agency document in an alternative format should call (360) 407-8200. TTY users should first call 7-1-1 to access the Washington Relay Service.

Capitol Court building wrapped in scaffolding.
 

General Project Information

  • Facade restoration includes cleaning, repair of the historic sandstone masonry, and securing joints where pieces of sandstone meet (called tuckpointing), as well as improving the anchoring for the sandstone veneer where needed.
  • Structural damage caused by the Nisqually Earthquake is being repaired
  • The building's original wood window frames have been restored.

Impacts and Mitigation

  • The parking office will assist affected parkers.
  • There will be signs and flaggers to direct pedestrians.
  • Drilling will be the main noise impact. 

Historic Preservation

Work on the building will comply with historic preservation requirements. For example, all scaffolding will be self-supported and not attached to the historic building façade.

Bureau of Tax Appeals Office Space Renovation

The renovation of the Bureau of Tax Appeals third floor office space was completed in August 2020. The project:    

  • Incorporated a larger, more inviting reception area
  • Created more acoustically private executive and tax appeal offices
  • Expanded work areas to accommodate a growing staff
  • Upgraded lighting and HVAC systems to increase energy efficiency and improve heating and cooling
  • Applied fresh paint and installed new carpet

Past Projects

  • 1989 Interior remodel for state use.
  • 1990 Building mechanical systems upgrades.
  • 2003 Tenant modifications addressing upgrades to the building’s mechanical systems as well as partitions between spaces and window repairs.

Building History

The building known as the Old Thurston County Courthouse, at the corner of 11th and Capitol Way, was erected in 1930 and designed by local architect Joseph Wohleb. In 1978 the courthouse functions were relocated to Olympia's westside, leaving the building vacant until 1989 when the state entered into a partnership with Lorig Associates to renovate the facility. Renovation was completed in 1991.

Capitol Court was built of Tenino sandstone. The 50,000 square foot, reinforced concrete building stands four stories tall capped by a small rectangular tower and flanked by two story projecting wings. The historic interior features include floors and wainscot of marble, plaster cove ceilings and a grand staircase.

Capitol Court, the name by which the Old Thurston County Courthouse is currently known, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Olympia Heritage Register.