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Municipal Courthouse

Now More Inviting

Betty Kane with son Hayden

Betty Kane with son Hayden

The municipal courthouse in downtown Colorado Springs has gotten a much-needed interior facelift, with the results combining natural light with fine art and appropriately themed décor

The project was the brainchild of the Colorado Springs Municipal Court Presiding Judge HayDen W. Kane II and his mother, longtime Colorado Springs resident and benefactor, Betty Kane.

“This was partially about my staff,” says HayDen. “They should have a nice place to work, but we also have hundreds of civilians coming through here and we just needed to make the effort to freshen things up.”

The building, which was erected in 1997 at the corner of Weber and Kiowa, has subtle tile flooring in hues of mauve, pink and purple while most of the trim work throughout the building is likewise purple. Betty decided the first order of business would be to paint over the mauve textured wallpaper with a soft white to give the interior a clean backdrop.

Utilizing her contacts in the arts, Betty was able to secure about a dozen paintings from renowned local artist Sara Ware Howsam to grace the lobby, stairwell and second level foyer. Howsam’s pieces are colorful and interesting to look at, adding a note of elegance to the interior décor. A glass case in the lobby now houses a beautiful set of law books and the large south-facing windows are free of their dated coverings, allowing natural light to stream in. While Betty says it was challenging to work around the required placards and directional signage, the result is an inviting space where people feel welcomed.

“This gives the building and what it stands for some dignity,” Betty says.

As plans got underway, one thing led to another and the ideas started flowing. The main level jury assembly room, which is used several times a week, now features posters from such movies as “The Verdict,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Presumed Innocent” and “The Jury,” to name a few, while the second-floor spaces display a variety of Ansel Adams and Colorado State Parks posters.

The third floor of the building features paintings created by retired Municipal Court Judge Sue Grant. Betty says they selected a variety that would make a nice display and had them all reframed alike for continuity. The result is a striking display of color against the white walls.

HayDen says the judges’ chambers are next on his list, but for now he is happy with the results - which amazingly enough were done with little or no money.