The renovation of the architecturally riveting Passaic County Courthouse Annex which once served as the main U.S. Postal Service office in Paterson is now underway. Renovation is scheduled to finish in October 2018.
Restoration includes keeping and refurbishing the existing historic finishes, installing new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing services. A new elevator will also be installed in the building. The county is spending $8 million in open space funds to restore the 19th-century Flemish Renaissance Revival style building which is listed on both the National Register of Historic Places and the New Jersey Register of Historic Places.
“The renovations of this historic landmark will preserve the vintage building while consolidating New Jersey Courts System in one complex,” said Peter Manouvelos, director of architecture at Midland Park-based LAN Associates which is providing architecture and engineering services for the project.
Renovation work began in late October after the county awarded an $8 million contract to Elizabeth-based H&S Construction & Mechanical in June. Manouvelos said the project is currently undergoing asbestos abatement and demolition.
Constructed in 1899, the building on Federal Plaza between Clark and Hamilton Streets housed the main post office for the city, until 1932. Five years later, the Passaic County government acquired the building for its administrative offices.
“The Courthouse Annex is a significant landmark in the City of Paterson. Our initiative to invest in preserving and finding new creative uses for historic buildings has cultivated the rich history of Passaic County,” said Passaic County freeholder Theodore “TJ” Best.
The eye-catching building in downtown Paterson has been closed to the public since 2011. It is described as one of the most remarkable work of Flemish style architecture in the country.
“It is an excellent illustration of high artistic value, and most likely the best example of a Flemish renaissance revival style structure in the United States,” said Kelly Ruffel, director of cultural and historic affairs in Passaic County.
The renovation of this historic building is part of the county’s effort to revitalize the area around the historic Passaic County Courthouse. Over the past years, the county has opened up the front entrance to the courthouse and created a plaza that comes alive during the summer with music and live performance.
County officials plan to use the renovated building to house the court’s probation division which includes the grand jury room, a hearing room, and child services probation offices.