Skagit County Courthouse

Mount Vernon, Washington
Client: SHKS Architects
Dates of Service: 2009Project Summary: The exterior masonry of this historic courthouse was displaying extensive degradation, including mortar erosion, cracking, mortar delamination, corrosion of steel lintels, etc.  The architectural firm SHKS Architects was retained to prepare construction documents for the needed masonry restoration.

PL: BECS Services: PL: BECS, due to its particular expertise in masonry construction and restoration, was retained by SHKS Architects to provide technical guidance for the masonry work.

PL: BECS visited the site to examine preliminary mock-ups of brick re-pointing and performed RILEM absorption testing to evaluate whether the new mortar was bonding well to the brickwork. This revealed very high absorption even though an appropriate mortar mix had been used, indicating inadequate bonding. PL: BECS suggested modifications to the re-pointing methods to enhance the bond.

The PL:BECS examination also revealed cracking in cast-stone elements, corrosion of steel lintels above windows, inadequate veneer tie distribution, cracking in the columns, and other masonry issues, which were brought to the architect’s attention, although correction of these elements fell outside the stipulated corrective scope.

PL:BECS also reviewed the architect’s preliminary specifications for the masonry restoration, including mortar mixes and installation methods, sealants, elastomeric coatings, etc., and suggested modifications.

Historical Significance of Skagit County Courthouse

The Skagit County Courthouse has seen many changes since its construction in 1927. It serves as a physical symbol of the growth and progress that the county has experienced over time. Justice has been served, disputes have been resolved, and the rule of law has been upheld there in many court cases. The community takes pride in its heritage, which symbolizes the county’s commitment to equity.

Function & Importance of Skagit County Courthouse

Skagit County’s administrative and judicial center, the courthouse plays an important role in maintaining public safety. It includes various judicial branches, not just lower and higher courts. The courthouse is the location for a wide variety of legal proceedings, such as civil and criminal trials, family law matters, probate hearings, and more. It’s a place where people can go to seek redress, resolve disagreements, and defend their rights under the law. The importance of the courthouse as a place where justice is done and equity is maintained cannot be overstated.

Preserving the Community’s Legal Heritage

In addition to its practical role, the Skagit County Courthouse also serves as a repository for the area’s legal heritage. It’s a symbol of the county’s history and a repository for the people’s recollections of its legal past. The courthouse is historically significant, and its preservation and restoration are priorities for the town. Skagit County residents show their commitment to the rule of law and justice by preserving the courthouse as it was originally built.

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