<Novato City Hall Historical Rehabilitation

Architectural Design / Structural Engineering / Historic Preservation

Novato City Hall Historical Rehabilitation

Novato, California

Community Center/Library | Landmarks | Municipal Facility | Office | Solar

City of Novato

Allan Whitecar, Jr.
Andrew Butt
Kimberly J. Butt
Thomas K. Butt


Alten Construction

GHD, Inc., Vallier Design Associates, RGD ACoustics, Silva

The City of Novato City Hall was originally built in 1896 and was Novato’s first Presbyterian Church. The church was built in the Victorian Gothic style of architecture and served as Novato’s City Hall from 1963 to 2005. The City retained Interactive Resources to prepare a historic resource evaluation for three properties, and to serve as lead historic architect in the design of the renovation of the historic landmark church building located at 901 Sherman Avenue in Novato, CA. The building was designed for the City of Novato for use as a council chamber, meeting space and event center in the heart of its historic downtown district. The rehabilitation of the iconic nineteenth century structure sensitively transformed the interior of the 111-year-old building, while preserving its historic exterior.

The design included moving the building approximately 12 feet from its existing location and the addition of a foyer or connecting lobby to an adjoining building, which was rehabilitated to include a conference room, toilets and a prep/warming kitchen. The renovation included new foundations, extensive structural upgrades, new toilet rooms, audiovisual and acoustics enhancements, HVAC systems, and the development of a new civic green for community events. The Sherman project included many sustainable measures, including: building-integrated solar photovoltaic roof shingles, waterless urinals, onsite storm drainage management, drought-tolerant native landscaping and recycled low-voc materials and finishes.


Interactive Resources was selected by the City of Novato as the architect for the renovation of the City Hall, which was originally built in 1896. This project was of great importance to the residents of Novato and subject to a high level of public scrutiny. Andrew Butt and his team worked with a committee chaired of the Mayor Pro Tem, a contract Project Manager and senior staff, including myself. All meetings of this committee were public meetings under the Brown Act. Andrew was required to consider and integrate comments from the Council, staff and the community including those of the City’s Historical Guild and self-appointed guardians of the public interest. Additionally the project was constrained by a tight budget forcing Andrew to deliver a high quality product with minimal resources. The community placed a high priority on having a sustainable building. LEED guidelines were followed but the project was not LEED certified due to the costs of certification. Andrew continued to work closely with the City’s Project Manager during the construction phase and sought solutions to a number of unanticipated issues that arose. The result has been a renovation that is admired by all who see the building. The Interactive Resources Team was easy to work with and responsive to the City’s needs. Based on my experience with Interactive Resources, I can definitely recommend them.”

—Jennifer Goldfinger, Assistant to the City Manager


“Many thanks again for the beautiful work on the City Hall. Everyone that sees it….loves it. You were the right firm for the job.”

–Jeanne Macleamy, Mayor, City of Novato

© 2010 Eric Rorer
© 2010 Eric Rorer
© 2010 Eric Rorer
© 2010 Eric Rorer
© 2010 Eric Rorer

117 Park Place • Point Richmond, CA • 94801 •  • info@intres.com • 510-236-7435