The Courthouse in Washington Street was built in 1895 and stands on the site of the original 1836 Courthouse designed by the Pain Bros. and destroyed by fire in 1891.
The building was rebuilt in 1895, following a competition by Cork Corporation. It was a condition of the competition that the portico and façade, which was all that remained intact after the fire, be preserved. The building remained largely unaltered until the Courts Service refurbishment project commenced in 2003.
The 1895 building was designed with an open courtyard at its centre. As part of the refurbishment, the courtyard was glazed over at roof level, a glass floor was inserted at first floor level and the ground floor level of the whole building was lowered by over two feet. This effectively added an extra floor to the building enabling the addition of three new courtrooms, ten consultation rooms, a family law office and barristers/solicitors rooms.
Wherever possible, the original architecture of the building was retained and carefully restored. This included all courtroom furniture, upholstery, baldachinni over the Judge’s podia, flooring, fireplaces, cornices, doors, architraves, skirtings and particularly the stone, mosaic, terrazzo and decorative plaster finishes under the dome in the entrance hall. The dome itself was comprehensively restored, re-fenestrated and reclad externally in copper.