Exterior view of the distinctive white marble-clad courthouse on a busy stretch of Madison Avenue.

New York State Appellate Division Courthouse


Our Client’s Challenge

One of the few historical buildings to achieve New York City landmark status for both its exterior and interior features, the New York State Appellate Division Courthouse situated at the corner of Madison Avenue and 25th Street in Manhattan recently got a facelift. Designed by architect James Brown Lord, this impressive historic structure is listed on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places. Its intricate stained-glass central dome was crafted by artist Maitland Armstrong. This stunning Beaux-Arts style courthouse is an anchor for Madison Square.

The work was needed to maintain the distinctive marble-clad façades and rooftop statuary of one of the most historic buildings in New York City. Over the years, general weathering contributed to the deterioration of mortar joints, as well as water infiltration of the building envelope. The spalling of a marble cornice created a safety hazard, requiring the installation of sidewalk bridging on street-facing elevations to protect pedestrians from falling debris.

Our Solution

Gannett Fleming provided architectural and structural design for the New York State Appellate Division Courthouse renovation. The project included restorations to the exterior envelope of the landmark building, as well as mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) design to upgrade basement office spaces. Originally built in 1900, with an addition completed in 1954, the courthouse handles 3,000 legal appeals and 7,000 motions each year, making it one of the busiest appellate courts in the U.S. Its photogenic façade and interior make it a popular setting for films and television shows. This landmark building restoration provided thoughtful restoration, careful repair, and an extensive roof replacement to protect this majestic Madison Square building.

The team conducted spray-bar and thermal imaging tests to pinpoint the source of water infiltration that had damaged marble cladding and masonry work on the building’s south façade. Repairs were made to restore the appearance and strengthen the integrity of the damaged material. Seismic bracing added to the rooftop statues and parapet reinforces their integrity and reduces the risk of collapse in an earthquake.

Full replacement of the building’s extensively damaged and leaking cast-iron vault light panels was designed to satisfy Landmarks Preservation Commission requirements and be entirely leak free. The structure’s new watertight roof membrane system features a layer of insulation and high reflectivity to enhance thermal efficiency. A new backup generator installed in an interior courtyard provides power in case of emergency. New MEP systems were designed for the renovation of basement spaces to accommodate new offices and a high-density filing system.

Key Features

  • Masonry, cladding, and rooftop statuary repairs restore exterior appearance and enhance structural integrity.
  • Roof replacement ensures protection against leakage and improves thermal efficiency.
  • Vault light panel replacement following historic preservation requirements prevents damage from water infiltration.
  • Office renovation provides additional workspace to help handle 10,000 legal motions and appeals each year.


  • Long-term protection against water infiltration for landmark courthouse.
  • Marble-cladding repair restores appearance of beautiful historic structure.
  • Repaired cornice allows removal of unsightly bridging above sidewalk.

Awards & Recognition


New York City Department of Design and Construction


Manhattan, N.Y.


Architecture, Building Systems

More Project Details

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