Margaret Chase Smith U.S. Courthouse + Federal Building Modernization

Bangor, Maine / United States of America


The 1968 Courthouse is considered by GSA to be an important example of regional mid-century Federal architecture.  Our renovation design compliments the original building with a simple palette, integrating new elements while optimizing re-use of existing.  Our charge was to:

  • Restore “distinguishing architectural features” (canopies, façade);
  • Create a new “First Impression” by adding an entry pavilion to consolidate formerly separate Court and Post Office entries, and incorporate a new security checkpoint; 
  • Renovate 188,000 s.f. of Courts and Offices over 3 floors;
  • Replace all MEP/Life Safety systems to achieve LEED Platinum.

Focus on Detail

The beacon-like Pavilion is a transparent jewel, in contrast to the opacity of the original building.  It slips behind the historic canopies and “spans” across flanking intimate gardens - as a bridge marking the threshold into the sacred domain of the Courthouse.

The pavilion is simply and delicately detailed, despite the fact that it is built to be blast resistant.  The articulation of the white concrete frame as an abstract element in the original building is reinterpreted in steel in the pavilion.  The super-light structure is designed with exceptionally thin and crisp profiles, and superbly crafted and assembled with the low-iron, low-reflectance point-supported glazing system.

Architect of Record

exp US Services


U.S. General Services Administration, Region 1

General Contractor

Consigli Construction


  • AMEC Foster Wheeler