Multnomah County Central Courthouse


At 17 stories and 464,700 SF, the new LEED Gold-certified Multnomah County Central Courthouse is not only larger than its eight-story, 295,400-square-foot predecessor, but also far better equipped to endure the strength of earthquakes expected in the area over the next 50 years.

In fact, creating a seismically safer courthouse was one of the main drivers behind the new facility. The old courthouse, located just four blocks away, was built 106 years ago and lacked the structural safety and space necessary to properly support the growing population of Multnomah County.

The courthouse project team focused on three main goals:

  • Improving public experience
  • Expanding safety and security
  • Bringing the building’s seismic resistance up-to-code

In addition to providing the structural safety that the old courthouse lacked, the new Multnomah County Central Courthouse was designed to be a better, more efficient experience for both visitors and those who work there. The layout of the new courthouse allows for more consistent traffic flow and more efficient queueing areas, as well as separate spaces for judges and courthouse staff, offering each judge their own courtroom and rooms for attorneys and clients to discuss in private.

The new high-performance, sustainable riverfront courthouse is full of daylight and welcoming to those who come there seeking justice. Located on a riverbank that serves as the gateway to downtown Portland, the new courthouse features a grand, central stairway that can be seen through double-height glass, providing the public with breathtaking views of Mt. Hood. The LEED Gold Certified courthouse is  energy efficient, featuring rooftop solar panels, radiant floor heating, daylighted courtrooms, green roofs, and vacuum waste system.