Northwestern University Harris Building Renovation

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project at a glance

Constructed in 1914, Harris Hall, a local landmark building, had primarily functioned as a classroom and faculty office building for Northwestern University.  In recent years, it became clear that a makeover of the building was necessary.  Recognizing the need to bring the building to modern standards of safety and comfort and to provide a home for the growing history department, the University embarked on a comprehensive renovation project which consisted of complete reorganization of the second and third floors into faculty offices and the basement into classroom and special program spaces.  The historic corridor, auditorium, and meeting room on the first floor were restored with new mechanical and audio-visual systems integrated into the decorative detailing.  Two new below grade additions provide space for new mechanical and program space.  The building is now equipped with modern sustainable materials, building systems, plenty of daylighting, additional classrooms, gathering areas for students, and new additions to the west and south including a new monumental main entry stair. On the interior, the 25,000-sq. ft., four-story building retained and refinished a historic winding marble stair, oak trim and other architectural elements to capture the essence of a neo-classical period building.  The project achieved LEED NC 2.2 Gold.

The Harris Hall project received approval from the City of Evanston Historic Preservation Committee and is designated as a landmark building by the City of Evanston

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