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St. Louis Civil Courts

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Designed by the architectural firm Klipstein and Rathmann, the St. Louis Civil Courts Building was finished in 1930 and was one of the last buildings in St. Louis to base its design on Ancient Past architectural style. Its design is based on the ancient tomb of King Mausolus built circa 353 B.C. at Halicarnassus. Crowning the Civil Courts building is a large step pyramid with two sphynxes, which sits atop a Greek temple, which in turn sits atop ten stories of courtrooms. Typical of Art Deco architecture, the interior, including the lighting designs, incorporate Egyptian, Greek, and Oriental influences. The original lighting fixtures were manufactured by Guth Lighting of St. Louis, with some of the glass being made by Steuben.

Working together with the lighting designer, SLALCO replaced the incandescent lamps with newer lighting technologies, all except for the ornate chandeliers in the law library, which kept their decorative, long-life incandescent lamps. One of the more interesting custom designs was based on the “Scales of Justice” with two bowls hanging from a horizontal “scale." This design has been used in several other court projects.


Historic Lighting Consultant: Gary H. Behm, I.E.S.

Lighting Designer: Brian Dougan with Ross & Baruzzini

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