The main challenge in transforming this 100-year-old abandoned elementary school into a 21st-century college library began in 1998.
The existing building lacked standard utilities because it originally was connected to a central system in the adjoining church. This link was no longer available. The architect created an aesthetically compatible mechanical room COST PER SQ FT$156.25FEATURED IN2000 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYRenovation preserved 95 percent of the existing stone facade.
Floors had to be made code-compliant. The solution was complex given the fact the building had masonry load-bearing walls and no steel frame. This necessitated selectively removing floors within the shell of the building, while never exceeding the ability of the existing walls to remain stable. New steel elements were inserted, and code-compliant floors were poured.
Care was taken during demolition to preserve historically significant wood doors and windows, which were restored and used as decorative elements. The stained glass was restored and became the centerpiece of the large dome over the new main reading room.
Photographer: ©Phototech Studio