Constructed as a U.S. Post Office in 1911 and later converted to a federal courthouse, the recently renovated Kanawha County Public Library is now helping to invigorate downtown Charleston, West Virginia. At night it has become a visual anchor for the revitalization of the city’s central business and entertainment district.
The design brief for lighting the building’s exterior and site focused on honoring its Greek Revival symmetry, proportion, simplicity, and elegance while providing a welcoming evening arrival to bibliophiles.
The main facade’s Ionic columns and perimeter pilasters, along the building’s Quarrier Street, are beautifully revealed with precise accent lighting. A continuous, concealed LED strip enriches the architrave inscriptions and architectural details above the capitals.
Linear LED grazing optics are positioned between the triglyph panels to wash the inset window bays.
The modest but inviting forecourt plaza is softly illuminated using LED sources. The luminaries are concealed at planter edges and within handrails to define seating, stairs, and access ramps. The elegant design has provided Charleston a new and inviting nighttime beacon.