In 2015 the design team of Tevebaugh Architecture and CGL’s AOR Justice team issued an expansion feasibility study for the New Castle County Courthouse (NCCCH), now named the Leonard L. Williams Justice Center (LLWJC). The study reviewed the space needs for the courts with a space program and documented the site selection process. The report recommended that the State acquire the adjacent former US Custom House and Alico Road, which wraps around the Custom House. The building is a prestigious National Register historic structure, with a space that once housed a US District Courtroom on the upper floor.
Since 2015, the State has acquired the Custom House and Alico Road and the design team has updated the space program, digitally scanned the interior and exterior of the historic building to create a digital model, surveyed the site, prepared geotechnical borings and evaluations, reviewed environmental findings, reviewed the structural report, prepared a historic study, prepared blocking and stacking diagrams for the user group space programs, developed a comprehensive schematic design set for the new additions, met with authorities having jurisdiction, and had the cost estimate updated.
The updated space program included the following user groups: Supreme Court Chambers, Arms of Court, Administrative Office of the Courts, Community Court, Delaware State Bar Association, and the Supreme Court Courtroom, Hearing Room.
The user groups, facilities, security, and secure parking will be housed within the historic structure and the new additions. The design scheme intends to revitalize the Custom House, preserve the historic facades to further promote the memory of Wilmington, and use the public circulation to connect different functions in both existing and new structures.