Cheyney University | Cheyney, Pennsylvania
Constructed in 1909, Carnegie Hall stands among the oldest buildings on the 275-acre campus of the oldest Historically Black College & University (HBCU) in the country. Despite its historic significance, however, the building had fallen into disrepair and was targeted for a major renovation and restoration to become the University’s new, primary event space.
In undertaking the project, VMA would not only have to sensitively address years of decay and neglect but find ways to update systems and accessibility to modern standards. What was once the main collection and reading of a small Carnegie Library is a spacious room with high ceilings and trusses, VMA wanted to preserve that sense of grandeur. Wood floors, paneling, trim, and fireplace mantles were repaired to their original state. Warm tones of paint in rich colors were chosen to complement the millwork. Storage space and a pleasant connection to classrooms and non-traditional learning spaces in the adjoining 1960’s addition were also included in the scope. All systems were successfully upgraded.
The restoration of the exterior envelope involved evaluating the original stone masonry, cataloging damaged stones, and repairing the decaying materials through a painstaking process of deep-tuck pointing to replace damaged stones within the facade. A subtle new flagstone ramp improved accessibility while also creating seating areas for students to congregate. Lastly, corresponding landscape work was performed to integrate the building with the quadrangle.
Size: 22,000 sf
Budget: $3.8 million
Architecture, Interior Design, Historical Preservation