Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Renovation of historic dormitories kicks off 30-year renewal program
Goody Clancy’s renovation of the 1877 Witherspoon Hall and 1906 Patton Hall established the criteria and standards for a subsequent long-term dormitory improvement project. At Witherspoon our challenge was to address the deficiencies of a building that had already undergone significant modifications. At Patton Hall we preserved and restored, to the greatest extent possible, the original components that give the spaces character.
In both residence halls, we developed creative ways to gain increased usable area and maintain bed count, taking over underutilized basements and attics, converting some of that space to additional student rooms, and designing additional program and common space. Our accessibility approach, in collaboration with Princeton’s accessible design advocates, involved a combination of elevators and new partial corridors that linked the former vertical-entry suites.
At Witherspoon, Princeton’s oldest dormitory and a prominent feature on the campus, we created spaces reminiscent of the building’s origins, without exact re-creation of the Victorian details that were sadly lost to renovations in the 1970s. The building exterior was more of a true restoration and included the replication of elements where original fabric had been lost, as well as the restoration of carved wood window surrounds and stone facade elements.
At Patton Hall, we designed a new arched exterior passageway through the building. This created an important, new accessible path connecting through a courtyard we designed on the west side of Patton.