In July 2003, the Supreme Court began a modernization project to update and replace building systems that have not been upgraded since the building opened in 1935.
The first phase of the project was the construction of an underground annex on the Maryland Avenue side of the building to provide necessary space for functions and personnel
displaced by the expansion of rooms containing new mechanical equipment. Phase I was completed in 2005 and Phase II work began inside the Court building itself. In
order for all Court operations to continue uninterrupted, only one-fourth of the building was under construction at any one time. Modernization of the northwest quadrant
of the building was completed in June 2007, the northeast quadrant was completed in the summer of 2008, work in the southeast quadrant of the building was completed in the
summer of 2009, and work in the southwest quadrant was completed in the summer of 2010. With the exception of some lingering tasks and administrative close-out activities,
the Modernization Project was completed in January 2011. The total estimated cost of the project, which remains within budget, is $122 million and includes the phases from
study through design and construction.
The restoration of the landscape, which was not within the scope of the Modernization Project, will be fully completed in the February 2013 to September 2013 time frame.