Relocation of Counsel Offices

Brian E. Washington, County Counsel

In November 2007, the Marin County Counsel’s office was moved to new quarters. For decades, the County Counsel’s office resided in Rooms 303 and 315 of the Civic Center. There was so little room that the office was bursting at the seams. Some attorneys had their offices on a different floor and at a different end of the building. The office had no room for summer law clerks, storing necessary files, law books, supplies, and no place for meetings and depositions. Patrick Faulkner, Marin County Counsel, said that when he was hired almost 30 years ago, he was told by Doug Maloney, then County Counsel, that the only office space for the new attorney was a corner in the office law library. “But don’t worry,” Doug told him, “we’re soon going to get enough space for all our attorneys to have an office.” Patrick continued, “It took over 30 years, and now that promise finally came true.”

The new space is located where the old county jail used to be, at the north end of the Hall of Justice. Patrick saw the potential for a well-planned office area. “When I first saw the space, though I could see it would be a big job, I was excited about the potential of extending the Frank Lloyd Wright concept of the central mall or walkway into the space. I was very pleased with the great job that the architect did with the ceilings and central library areas in that regard.”

Although some of the work was contracted out, much of the oversight of the remodeling was handled by the very capable staff in the Public Works Department, under Kevin McGowan, Principal Civil Engineer.

The point person was Larry Beaton, whose help and expertise were greatly appreciated by County Counsel staff. Larry said the job was complicated. “The major demolition required was a big challenge. The metal bars and steel doors had to be removed, the plumbing completely redone, new electrical ducting and floors installed, all while the Sheriff’s office conducted business on the floor below. The demolition alone took about six months,” said Larry. 

The architect was Carey and Company, and the construction was done by AMG. The building improvements were done by Zolman Construction. Larry and Patrick had words of praise for all involved, and especially appreciated the building maintenance section of DPW. Besides Kevin and Larry, David Vaughn, Mike Norton, Pat Cunningham, Rich Leahy, Rich Wallace, Tracie Holland, Brendon O’Hagan (DPW), Dave Speer (CAO) and Steve Marthinsen (IST) all contributed to its success. Patrick also appreciated the efforts of James Magsombol and his staff at Zolman Construction, and had praise for the architect, Nancy Goldenberg.

Larry said, “Most importantly, this project was a great team effort. Everyone involved helped to make the project a real success.”

Narrative courtesy of Frankly Speaking, 2nd Quarter 2008