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ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile

The Old Jail
514 W Liberty St
Louisville, KY 40202
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The Jefferson County Jail, built 1902-1905 by prominent local architect D.X. Murphy, is considered to be an outstanding example of American civic architecture at the turn of the 19th century. The Indiana limestone and red brick structure is reflective of the Chicago School of Architecture at its height.  Stone from a workhouse quarry a few miles away was also used in the construction. 


Originally consisting of an administrative wing and a cell block with 240 cells, the Jail was, according to The Encyclopedia of Louisville, "the most modern correctional facility in the country when it was completed in 1905," and reflected the latest trends in sanitation, security and mechanics to achieve its mission of a secure yet humane urban jail.  Now known as the Old Jail Building, the structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. 


The building yielded its original function in 1976, and underwent a major renovation by K. Norman Berry Associates Architects PLLC in 1982-83. The renovation included the addition of insulated glazing systems, modern mechanical and electrical systems, which combined with the original massive stone and brick walls to contribute to the energy efficiency of the structure.


Today, the five-story, 80,000-square-foot office building houses government, legal, and judicial offices, as well as the Jefferson County Law Library.  A dramatic multi-story interior atrium connects multiple floors.


As an ENERGY STAR Partner, Louisville Metro Government has made numerous improvements across its portfolio of buildings, including lighting upgrades, installation of sensors, and standard thermostat settings.  Specific improvements recently made to the Old Jail Building include:

-- Replacement of the old chiller with a more energy efficient chiller, reducing KW operation by 0.5-0.8 KW per ton.  As part of the chiller replacement, a new cooling tower and new pumps were installed, further adding to a more efficient cooling system.  In addition to the increased efficiency of the newer chiller, an associated cost savings for Metro has resulted due to less maintenance service.

Service and adjustment of the building temperature controls system, including thermostat set points limits, HVAC system control valves, and outside air dampers to provide a better, more efficient operating system.  Additional service is planned for the building control system.

Service and adjustment of many of the building reheat coils.  Additional work on the reheat coils in other areas will be performed as funding allows.

Service and adjustment of building natural gas boilers to better match the building heating requirements and provide a more efficient operating system.




"Louisville and Jefferson County date back to the late 1700's, and we are fortunate to have many fine examples of 19th and early 20th century architecture within our government building portfolio.  Certification of the 104-year-old Old Jail Building as an ENERGY STAR Qualified Building is testament to the fact that buildings don't have to be new to be energy-efficient.  Careful preservation and judicious improvements in historic buildings can yield 21st century benefits."

-- Jerry Abramson, Mayor, City of Louisville

Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by Louisville Metro Government or a representative of this facility. Other building information was verified and submitted to EPA at the time of application. Building energy performance, operating characteristics, and ownership/management may be subject to change over time.

Building Owner:*
Louisville Metro Government

Property Manager:*

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2009 (76)
2015 (77)

Facility Type: Office

Total Floorspace: 82348 sf

Year Constructed: 1915

Contract Type: None

Technologies Used: