Alto Lee Adams, Sr. United States Courthouse
Located in the heart of downtown Fort Pierce, the five-story Alto Lee Adams, Sr. United States Courthouse is a collaboration between federal, state, and local governments.
The 123,400-square-foot federal facility is designed to meet the 10-year space needs of the courts and court-related agencies, and to accommodate the 30-year expansion requirements of the courts.
PGAL served as Architect-of-Record, with Merrill, Pastor & Colgan Architects as design architects. The project presented two fundamental symbolic contradictions that required resolution. First, as courtrooms are typically buried in the core of the upper floors, courthouses run the risk of looking like office buildings and belying their significance. Second, courthouses are public buildings that are increasingly secure, resistant to bomb blasts, and difficult to access by unauthorized visitors.
The $42 million courthouse includes one district and one magistrate courtroom, and was designed for two additional courtrooms for future build-out. The courtrooms are placed on the upper floor where they are marked by their silhouette. Major tenants include the U.S. Courts, U.S. Marshalls Service, U.S. Attorneys, and U.S. Probation.
The full height, multi-story glass lobby faces U.S. Highway 1, giving pedestrians a dramatic view of the courthouse, both day and night. Built with traditional materials and an aesthetic design indigenous to Fort Pierce, the lobby provides a generous entry and view toward the water from all floors of the building. Two significant pieces of art by Roberto Juarez serve as bookends in the lobby space, addressing the cultural history and natural abundance of Fort Pierce and Central Florida.
Due to the water table, secure parking has been pushed up and the entrance sits a full story above grade, marked by a long flight of steps and a monumental ramp. A ceremonial colonnade leads visitors and staff to the building's entrance. On the north side, a garden separates the one- and two-story buildings of Orange Avenue from the full height of the courthouse.
- Five-story, 123,400-square-foot federal facility with one district and one magistrate courtroom
- Full height, multi-story glass lobby facing U.S. Highway 1
- Ceremonial colonnade leading to the entrance and a garden separating the buildings of Orange Avenue from the courthouse