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Building Exterior Repairs: Capitol Court

DES began work to address water leaks at the Capitol Court Building on April 30, 2021. 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. DES anticipates work will be complete over the summer.  All scheduled work is weather dependent. 

Past Capitol Court 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.
  • 2020 Bureau of Tax Appeals office space renovation
  • 2020 Cleaning and repair of the historic sandstone masonry, restoration of original wood windows

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.

Learn more about the Capitol Court Building.