In 2013 the State made the decision to demolish the 60-year old Cordell Hull building – a 360,000 sf limestone-clad office building next to the state capitol. However, after some public push-back, and some further research, the Department of General Services determined that the building should be restored, and selected Centric Architecture to do the work of transforming the building to the new home for the state legislature.
The project included replacement of all systems including windows, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc, as well as the addition of a small 150-space below-grade parking structure and a tunnel connecting to the State Capitol building. Needless to say, the most challenging piece of the project was not the removal of 9 columns from the 1st floor of an 11-story building, or the protection and restoration of the marble lobbies and restrooms, but the consternations, er, conversations, around blasting a new tunnel directly beneath the 180-year-old state capitol building. The tunnel provides a secure and accessible connection between the new home of the legislature and the state capitol building – and yes, the engineering and construction teams succeeded in building the tunnel without damaging our historic capitol building.
It's a real win for the State of Tennessee to have saved and improved the rock-solid Cordell Hull Building, giving it at least another 60 years of service to the community.