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Fayette County Courthouse


Illuminationworks served as lighting designer for the renovation of the historic Fayette County Courthouse in Lexington, Kentucky, transforming the 1899 building into a mixed-use centre with offices, event space, and a food & beverage outlet. Following historic preservation guidelines, our lighting played a key role in the restoration of the spectacular domed rotunda, which had not been visible to the public in over 60 years. Incredibly, the beautifully detailed room had served as an enclosure for the building’s HVAC systems since the 1960's. Lighting is used to reinforce classical architecture and an existing ‘star pattern’ of incandescent points was updated with LED sources to emphasise the curvature of the dome. Other areas of the building were redesigned in a respectfully contrasting and contemporary style that is heightened with integrated lighting details. Modest lighting effects were applied to the façade and key external elements, such as the cupola, to sensitively accentuate the restored Richardsonian Romanesque exterior. Illuminationworks worked closely with Deborah Berke Partners in New York City and Louisville-based K. Norman Berry Architects to make the project come to life. The project renews one of Lexington’s most prominent buildings for public use and returns it to the people of Kentucky.

Design Architect

Deborah Berke Partners  

Executive Architect

K Norman Berry Associates


Tim Furlong Jr








Heritage Project of the Year

2019 Lighting Design Awards



Honor Award - Additions/Renovations/Restoration

American Institute of Architecture - Kentucky


Jury Comments:


“The renovation of the Fayette County Courthouse is a stunning example of elegance and refined design. The design team combined expertly detailed new elements, such as the central stair, with a masterful strategy for lighting and color to highlight the original features of the historic building. With careful demolition and an attitude of design restraint, the finished project highlights the best features of the original while giving this building new life for the next 100 years.”

LDA 2019 logo COMMENDED.jpg

Concept Images by Illuminationworks 

Efforts continue to save old Fayette County Courthouse

Efforts continue to save old Fayette County Courthouse

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