Status: Construction began May 2022
In late May 2022, DES began a preservation project at the Cherberg Building. The project includes cleaning of the building’s historic sandstone, minor repairs of masonry, resealing windows, and water leak prevention work. Maintaining building exteriors is important to prevent future costs as well as building function. A building’s exterior shell – the roof, windows, insulation, and exterior walls and doors – is designed to keep the structure water-tight and maintain a comfortable temperature for people working or visiting the facility. The work is scheduled to continue through mid-September.
The John A. Cherberg Building was one of six government buildings envisioned in the 1911 Capitol Master Plan. Construction began in 1935 and was completed in 1937. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
The 100,377 square-foot, four-story building was originally known as the "Public Lands and Social Security Building." Its placement and conceptual designed followed the plans of capitol architects Wilder and White. The building was designed by Olympia architect Joseph Wohleb.
Federal Public Works Administration funds were used to finance construction, which began during the Depression and was completed in 1937. Numerous alterations to the building were made beginning in the 1950s, with continual turnover of tenant agencies. In the 1960s the state Senate began to use the upper floors for offices. In 1984 and 1988, the first floors were significantly remodeled to create public hearing rooms, and in 1984 the building was renamed to honor John A. Cherberg, the 13th Lieutenant Governor of Washington from 1957 to 1989, which is longer than any other lieutenant governor in state history.
A nearly $34 million project was completed in 2006 that modernized the building. The project overhauled the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, corrected life-safety code deficiencies, strengthened seismic resistance, realigned offices and improved space use of the upper three floors, and installed new technology.