Department of Justice

The United States Department of Justice Main Building, renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in 2001, was built in 1935. It is distinct among federal buildings of its era for its blend of neoclassical and Art Deco design elements and its use of aluminum in lieu of bronze throughout the architectural metalwork and furnishings. It is considered important for foreshadowing modern architecture and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

From 2000 to 2002, Crenshaw undertook a three phase restoration project for the building’s historic lighting. More than 1,000 fixtures were restored, replicated, and created new with updated compact fluorescent lamping under the guidance of Lighting Designer MCLA.

The original historic lighting ranges in style from ornate Art Deco to a clean, simple, almost modern style and is all constructed of aluminum. The Great Hall foyer features some of the most extraordinary examples of Art Deco lighting we have ever seen. This set of bullet-shaped pendants are nearly seven feet in height, cast entirely in intricately tooled aluminum, and clad in custom scalloped and segmented art glass lens panels. They lend grandeur and beauty to the two-story space. This fixture can be seen in our Lighting Products gallery here; however, no photo can compete with the breathtaking impact this fixture has when seen in person.

Contractor Gilbane Construction nominated Crenshaw for a Washington Building Congress Award, which was awarded in 2003.