DES will begin work to address water leaks at the Capitol Court Building on Friday, April 30. The leaks were discovered following a 2020 cleaning and restoration project. There was no serious damage to the building. DES worked with the contractor to investigate the cause and determined that mortar did not set correctly in south and east portions of the building. The contractor will remove and replace defective mortar in a process called “repointing” at no additional cost to the state.
The contractor will mobilize to the site on Friday, April 30 and will begin work the week of May 3. DES anticipates work will be complete over the summer.
During the repairs, there will be noise and parking impacts. Noise will be monitored on an ongoing basis so adjustments can be made as needed to minimize impacts. Parking on the south side of the building will be closed for the duration of the project. Parking in the east and west sides of the building will remain open. The DES Parking Office will assist any affected parkers.
All scheduled work is weather dependent.
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.