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Two Local Projects Receive GSA Design Awards

April 30, 2014

Photo of Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse and Jacob K. Javits Federal Building Plaza
Photo of Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse and
Jacob K. Javits Federal Building Plaza

The recent renovation of the historic Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse and the redesign and renovation of the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building Plaza, both located in lower Manhattan were recognized by GSA and its private-sector partners at the recent 2014 GSA Design Awards ceremony, held in Washington, DC. The two local projects were honored for representing the agency’s best recent efforts in design and architecture.

“These projects represent significant improvements to the appearance, infrastructure, and ongoing use of two of our lower Manhattan federal facilities. We’re very proud to have them recognized with this significant honor,” said GSA Northeast and Caribbean Regional Administrator Denise L. Pease.

The Jacob K. Javits Federal Building Plaza tops the parking structure of 26 Federal Plaza in Lower Manhattan. As part of waterproofing improvements to the garage, the acre of public space was redeveloped. Four planted areas, as well as outdoor furniture designed to accommodate socializing and outdoor work, accent the marble-and-granite hardscape.

The 37-story, 611,000-square-foot Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse has operated continuously as the seat of the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit since 1936. Its first-ever comprehensive renovation improves all buildings systems while conserving or replicating the historic architecture.

The GSA Design Awards are the hallmark of the agency’s Design Excellence program, and today’s event showcases top projects and sets new standards for future federal investment.

GSA holds the program every two years to honor the accomplishments of talented federal employees, architects, engineers, landscape architects, urban designers, interior designers, artists, conservationists, and preservationists who create and preserve the nation's landmarks. The GSA Design Awards recognizes outstanding achievements in GSA buildings across the country.

A jury of private-sector professionals chaired by architect Henry N. Cobb reviewed more than 80 projects for this cycle of the GSA Design Awards. Projects were submitted in two categories—completed works and designs not yet realized—and jurors evaluated entries for quality in architecture, preservation, engineering, art, interiors, urban planning, graphic design, and landscape. Projects that were eligible for the awards were those with approved concept designs or construction completed between 2008 and 2013. The program is open to contract design professionals, artists, and organizations that completed projects for GSA.

The Design Excellence Program is the central advocate for design quality in GSA’s real estate portfolio. The foundation of the Design Excellence Program is the Guiding Principles for Federal Architecture, written by Daniel Patrick Moynihan and signed by President Kennedy in 1962. The program oversees procedures that seek the finest, most appropriate architects and artists for GSA projects, and which insert independent appraisal of project teams’ work to ensure best value to the American taxpayer. For more information on the GSA Design Awards, please visit: and read GSA’s press release announcing the 2014 awards.

Last Reviewed: 2017-08-13