The first New Jersey State House was a modest, two-story Federal-style building designed by Philadelphia architect Jonathan Doane and constructed in 1792. Since then, the State House has been in continuous use and has seen five major redesigns, as well as a devastating fire and numerous small additions. Today, the original 1792 building remains encased in 210 years-worth of accretions and alterations.
In 2000 JHPA was contracted by the State of New Jersey to provide a Preservation Plan that would guide a potential full restoration of the interior and exterior of this important state building. The plan was to accomplish four major tasks at once: provide a history of the building and the site; evaluate existing conditions and identify historically significant building fabric; create a hierarchy of treatment for interior space; put forth new design schemes that provide for the recapturing of monumental historic space while at the same time bringing the building up to current code standards for egress and ADA compliance.
Jan Hird Pokorny Associates worked closely with state staff, a structural engineer, an historian, and an MEP engineer to produce a document that the state could use to drive a productive discussion of restoration.