Wannalancit Stair Restoration

Lowell, Massachusetts


University of Massachusetts Lowell

Completion Date


This wonderful project restores an existing semicircular wood egress stair at UMass Lowell’s historic Wannalancit Mills. The existing 100-plus-year-old stair had begun to sag over its years of heavy use and was no longer in compliance with the building code.

The renovation carefully maintains as much of the original stair as possible and provides new structural elements that replicate the original design. Concealed metal straps are added to the center “ribbon” railing, reinforcing the main structural support without changing the aesthetic. Modifications to the enclosure provide a modern fire rating while maintaining the design integrity of the original stair.

Existing architectural elements such as metal stair tread covers were restored. Those that were beyond repair were replicated. Molds for future repairs were provided to UMass Lowell. Elements requiring updates to meet code, such as the guard railing, were modified to match the existing aesthetic.

The finished product is a safe, compliant, secure egress stair restoring the historic character of the original Wannalancit Mill complex.

Additional Information

Associated Firm

Boston Building Consultants

Featured in

2023 Educational Interiors Showcase



Interior category

Historic Preservation

Product suppliers specified

Door Hardware by ASSA ABLOY
Doors by VT Industries
Lighting & Accessories by Lithonia Lighting
Lighting & Accessories by Progress Lighting
Fire/Life-Safety Systems by SimplexGrinnell
Card Systems by HID
Security Systems by Lenel Security
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