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President Lyndon B. Johnson suite at the J.J. Pickle Building in Austin, Texas

Historic architecture preserved through government stewardship

| GSA Blog Team
Post filed in: Historic Preservation Month

Celebrate GSA’s 523 historic buildings with us during May for Preservation Month.

Dramatic example of Classical Revival architecture

The historic Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington has served as a setting for ceremonies and special events since the 1930s. In 2023, GSA completed restoration of the interior features of the auditorium, including the acoustic stone, gilding, and ornamental finishes, using historic outlease funds (income the agency derives from leasing available vacant space at market rates to private businesses as well as state and local governments). Allowed through the National Historic Preservation Act, these leases can include retail shops, food service facilities, office space, antennas, and film locations. 

GSA’s historic outlease program enhances customer satisfaction and retention, maximizes asset income, and provides value to the historic inventory and taxpayers. This new video documents this remarkable restoration carried out by an expert project team. 

Midcentury suave

Another example of how GSA recently used historic outlease funds was the completed conservation of the President Lyndon B. Johnson suite at the J.J. Pickle Building in Austin, Texas (pictured at top), to protect the integrity of the furnishings associated with Johnson’s presidency. The suite, a unique space in GSA’s portfolio, includes a living and dining room, private den, bathroom, and kitchen, which retains a high degree of architectural integrity to this period in design and to LBJ’s life and history. 

Through this effort, the space retains the look and feel of the suite as it was used and experienced by LBJ, preserving this piece of mid-century presidential history for future visitors and scholars for years to come. Watch the video of this award winning project.

Upgrading a nation’s treasure

Frank E. Moss U.S. Courthouse in Salt Lake City

At the historic Frank E. Moss U.S. Courthouse in Salt Lake City, GSA is implementing a whole building modernization project to drive efficiency and environmental resilience in a cost-effective manner.  

The primary goals of the project are to structurally upgrade this culturally significant asset to ensure the safety of building occupants in a seismic event, maximize use of low-embodied carbon materials through Inflation Reduction Act funding, and electrify the building systems. 

Simultaneously, GSA is recapturing historic spaces, restoring design elements, and experimenting with 3D printing of some missing ornamentation, all creatively enhancing the property to meet modern federal work space needs. Learn more.

Now that’s a ceiling

Detroit's Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse's ceiling

The historic Neoclassical-style 1934 Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse in Detroit, received a GSA Construction Excellence Award for Merit in Capital Projects 2023 for this upgrade.

The multi-phased project upgraded major building systems, ensuring long-term federal agency occupancy. Historic outlease funds also allowed GSA to restore the first-floor corridor and seventh-floor courtroom lobbies. Learn more.