Municipal Building Renovation

The 1929 Madison Municipal Building was originally built as a federal courthouse, repurposed as a post office, and later acquired by the City of Madison in 1979 as office space. The decades of different uses and provisional renovation had hidden historical building elements. HVAC and electrical systems had become obsolete. Random window air conditioners attested to inadequate systems infrastructure.

The 2017 renovation project had two goals: to restore historic elements while creating inviting functional space; and to modernize HVAC and electrical infrastructure to provide healthy, safe, and comfortable environments.

Salas O’Brien planned, designed, and implemented engineered systems incorporating new HVAC infrastructure into the existing building while retaining its historic nature, complying with aggressive energy consumption reduction goals, facilitating operation in a restrictively sized envelope, and doing so within a defined construction budget.

Madison Trust for Historic Preservation Award
American Public Works Association National Project of the Year
American Public Works Association Wisconsin Chapter Project of the Year

Completion Year



73,340 square feet

Construction Cost

$29.3 million

Project Partner

MSR Design


Platinum Certified