Originally built in 1832 as a federal penitentiary and later used to house officers and enlisted personnel, the historic Grant Hall contains the courtroom where President Lincoln’s assassination conspirators were tried in 1865. Since then the building has undergone numerous renovations that significantly altered its appearance and function.
Sensitive modernization reinvented the structure as contemporary office space for the National Defense University while respecting the historic fabric of the landmark. To provide a better workplace environment and maximize energy efficiency, we provided system upgrades, exterior envelope improvements, and accessibility upgrades, as well as enhancements to an existing geothermal heat pump system. During the renovation, the opportunity arose to reconstruct the third floor room where the Lincoln assassination trial was held, a space lost in an 1870 renovation.
- 11,500 GSF
Reconstructing History Through Archival Research
In May and June of 1865, the third floor of Grant Hall served as a makeshift courtroom for the eight co-conspirators in President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, who were being held in the penitentiary portion of the building. As part of a larger building renovation, the space was reconstructed to that time period as a publicly available teaching tool regarding the events of 1865.
The Washington Post