Chicago-headquartered architecture practice Krueck Sexton Partners (KSP) has announced that it was chosen by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to lead the expansive $240 million modernization of the Silvio J. Mollo Federal Building, an aging and inefficient ten-story office tower in Lower Manhattan’s Civic Center. Located at 1 St. Andrew’s Plaza, the building is home to a particular unit of the Department of Justice that was subject to a heightened level of scrutiny during the Trump administration that has only intensified: The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Completed in 1974, the 160,000-square-foot building is also home to the U.S. Marshals Service and features two pedestrian bridges, one connecting the building to the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse and the other to the Metropolitan Correctional Center. It is named after Silvio J. Mollo, a Bronx-born former first assistant district attorney in Manhattan who, before that, served as a federal prosecutor for over 30 years. He died in 1984 at the age of 74.
As part of the wide-ranging renovation, all major building systems of the reinforced concrete structure will be replaced, the base building structure will be modified, and the outdated prefabricated aggregate facade will be swapped out for a high-performance skin. What’s more, the project will entail various security and accessibility upgrades, the creation of a new main entrance, and an interior design overhaul of the USAO-SDNY’s offices. Per a press release, sustainability “will guide all design and construction” with the ultimate goal of achieving LEED Gold certification.
As project architect-engineer, KSP will lead a larger modernization team that also includes Schiller Projects (interior design and workplace strategy consultant); Thornton Tomasetti (structural and facade engineer); WSP (MEP/FP engineer); Atelier Ten (sustainability consultant); and Langan Engineering (civil, geotechnical, and environmental engineer).
While KSP (formerly Krueck + Sexton Architects) has completed a number of lauded buildings in Chicago and beyond (the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership, Steel + Glass House, and the Crown Fountain at Millennium Park being three hometown projects of note), the practice is also known for designing the Benjamin P. Grogan and Jerry L. Dove Federal Building (2015), in Miramar, Florida, which was the first project completed by the practice under the GSA’s Design Excellence Program. Established in 1994, the peer-reviewed program was subjected to scathing criticism within Trump’s controversial (and now dead) “beautiful buildings” executive order that mandated neoclassical architecture as the default style for all federal buildings in Washington, D.C., along with all federal courthouses and federal agency-housing office buildings outside of the nation’s capital.
In addition to the new federal building in Miramar, KSP has also been involved with renovation and repositioning projects executed for the GSA.
“We’re honored to work with the GSA to transform this important, high-profile building into a flexible, high-performance workplace that will meet the needs of the Southern District of New York for the next 50 years,” said KSP partner Don Semple in a statement. Semple will serve as project director for the modernization of the Mollo Federal Building.
Construction is slated to commence in the fall of 2023 and wrap up during the summer of 2026.
In conjunction with the facelift at the Mollo Federal Building, KSP will also oversee the design of two floors of swing space at the nearby Jacob K. Javits Federal Office Building that will be used to temporarily house workers displaced from the Mollo Federal Building while construction is underway. Some of this space will be used to permanently accommodate USAO Civil Division employees post-construction. Completed in 1969 with an addition that opened in the late 1970s, the Jacob K. Javits Federal Office Building, at over 40 stories, is the tallest federal building in the U.S. and is home to numerous agencies including the GSA, the Department of Homeland Security, the Social Security Administration, and the New York field office of the F.B.I.