The Christine Gibson Hall of Faith (formerly Denworth Hall) was designed by noted architect Edwin Sherrill Dodge originally of Newburyport, Massachusetts. It was constructed between 1938 and 1940 for Bradford College, an all-girls junior college which later became a coed liberal arts college. The 3 story building is designed in the classical revival style with “transitional” construction methods typical of buildings just prior to World War 2. It is located on the National Historical Register as well as within a local Historic District. The building houses a 700 seat auditorium, performing arts theatre, dance studio, black box theatre, work shops and faculty offices. In 2000 the building was vacated and shut down.
After the campus was purchased by Zion Bible College, Hromadka Associates, in collaboration with Woodman Associates Architects, completed an in depth existing conditions survey and feasibility analysis to determine what would be needed to restore the building to its former glory. The final report included reviews of the building’s envelope, structure, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems, interiors, performing arts systems, and the implications of accessibility codes and presence of hazardous materials.
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5 Main Street Topsfield, MA
This 2-story building on Main Street in Topsfield, MA, was built in 1809 in the Federal style. Over the years it served many uses, including a residence, tavern, store, hotel, telephone exchange and office space. It occupies an integral part of the town’s history and as such is included on their list of Historically Significant Structures.
In 2011, the building was purchased by the Institution for Savings Bank. While the building was in need of significant repair to be suitable for for their new branch office, many efforts were made to retain the historical significance of the building and return it to its former glory. The entire building was jacked up and placed on cribbing to allow for a new foundation to replace the existing crumbling walls. Damage from fire and rot required the installation of a new roof framing system that matched the height and profile of the existing roof. Original window and door locations were reestablished, and a working fireplace was reintroduced using salvaged bricks from the period.
In order to meet the spatial needs of the new tennants, an opening was made between the first and second floors allowing increased light and space for the primary public spaces. This gesture also created the opportunity to expose some of the existing hand hewn beams of the building.
The renovated structure includes a drive-thru banking center with canopy, new vault and handicapped lift, and was updated to meet the requirements of the most current energy performance and accessibility codes. Hromadka Associates, in collaboration with Woodman Associates Architects, served as Project Architect over-seeing the design and construction of this restoration and addition which is slated to open in the spring of 2013.