Robert Olson & Associates, Architect; Boston, MA
The Holtkamp Organ Company, Organ Builders; Cleveland, OH
2007 AIA New England - Merit Award
The Memorial Chapel and ’92 Theater are two of the most prominent buildings on the Wesleyan Campus. Originally constructed in 1868 the ’92 Theater has continuously operated as a black box theater for students since approximately 1929. Constructed in 1871 the Memorial Chapel serves as a major teaching and assembly space for the University. Upon completion, the Memorial Chapel became the largest assembly space for speaking engagements on campus. Following a comprehensive building assessment, the University invested in the restoration and renovation of both of these buildings.
Restore these brownstone buildings to their original condition including new slate roofs. Maintain the character and integrity of college row. Provide complete accessibility to all levels of both buildings including elevators to the Chapel balcony, new restrooms, and new entrances with full accessibility. Provide new mechanical and ventilation systems to both buildings. Restore the interiors of both buildings. Enhance the interior spaces to accommodate current audio/visual technologies. Restore and expand the upper balcony of the chapel to allow utilization at full capacity. Complete upgrade to current building codes including new fire protection systems. Create indoor and outdoor gathering and reception spaces to enhance the center of campus experience.
The project was constructed in two phases; Phase I, substantially completed in 2001, included the complete exterior restoration of both buildings. Phase II includes complete interior renovations in both buildings as well as an addition to provide necessary services to both buildings.
Work on Phase II interior renovations and the building addition wrapped up in the summer of 2003.