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Major preservation projects on McGraw Hall to begin

Media Contact

Joe Schwartz

A major preservation project on Cornell's McGraw Hall is scheduled to begin in early April. The project will stabilize the exterior masonry, repair the roof, replace the gutter system and effect other improvements designed to prevent deterioration of the building due to water damage and aging. LeChase Construction will do the work.

While some preparation work will begin in April, the roof replacement and façade restoration will begin after Commencement, and most of work completed before fall classes.

No classes will be held in McGraw Hall over the summer, and the Anthropology Collections Room in the McGraw Hall Museum will be closed from April 15 until Aug. 15.

The initial, temporary bracing of the masonry construction will consist of an external steel frame, with steel rods passing through the facility to tie it together. The rods will use existing window openings so as not to disturb the masonry. This structure is expected to remain in place until a permanent renovation project begins.

The decorative slate pattern that is visible on the steep mansard roofs will be replaced with in-kind material to replicate the existing pattern. Architectural asphalt shingles will replace the modified bitumen rolled roof that exists on the less visible, shallow-sloped upper portions of the roof.

McGraw Hall, designed by Archimedes Russell, was built in 1872. Its Second Empire architectural style references the style and design of Morrill Hall to the south and White Hall to the north and provides a central focal point between these two facilities on the west side of the Arts Quadrangle. The four-story McGraw Hall is built of Ithaca Bluestone and features five bays, arched windows and boasts the first of the university's towers. This tower was the original home of the chimes, now located in McGraw Tower.


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