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President's House sees focus on preservation

By Shoham Geva, Summer Managing News Editor
Published July 2, 2014

One of the most striking aspects of the President’s House, currently the oldest building on campus, is the way it blends the past and present.

In the hallways, original aspects of the architecture mix with the type of industrial fire alarms you’d find in University buildings on campus. When it was decided that the study needed new windows to be more energy efficient as part of the ongoing, $1.3 million renovation project, architects planned to build them inside of the original ones, in a compromise between preservation and utility. In the bathrooms, the electricity outlets are updated to comply with code — the bathtubs, showers, and counters themselves mostly stay the same.

During a tour of the house, Henry Baier, associate vice president for facilities and operations, said for the most part, the focus of renovations has been on maintaining the historic nature of the exterior while still updating the interior, a balance he acknowledged isn’t always easy. When balancing between the two, he said safety, energy efficiency, and cost are top factors.

Renovations are expected to be completed by the end of this summer, though they won’t be done in time for University president-elect Mark Schlissel, who officially assumes his position on July 14th, to move in immediately. Thus far, Baier said, the project has been proceeding on track.


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