Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Join Me (and Chuck Bucci) on October 24th for a Special Tour of Syracuse University Restored Buildings

Syracuse University. Tolley Humanities Center. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2010

Syracuse University. Crouse College. Stained glass windows detail.. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber.

Syracuse University. Slocum Hall. Photo: Samuel D. Gruber 2010

Join Me (and Chuck Bucci) on October 24th for a Special Tour of Syracuse University Restored Buildings

I'll be joined by professionals from the Syracuse University Office of Campus Planning, Design, and Construction to visit and discuss major restoration building on campus of the past five years. We'll talk about architecture, history, planning and restoration process, as well as the complex issues of need, use and cost that are essential to the success of the reinvention and reuse of any aolder building.

Here is the announcement:

Preservation Association of Central New York (PACNY) will offer a tour of three restored, rehabilitated, and reinvented buildings on the Syracuse University Campus. Join architectural historian Sam Gruber and campus planner Chuck Bucci on a visit to Crouse College, Tolley Humanities Center, and Slocum Hall as they discuss the history of these buildings and their architecture, and especially the long hard process of restoring and renovating these three structures in the past five years.

The tour will begin at 1:00 pm at the Crouse College south entrance (across from the Maxwell School) and will last 2 hours.

Crouse College was built in 1889 and is one of the original university buildings. Designed by noted Syracuse architect Archimedes Russell, its dramatic turreted form has long been a landmark on the Hill, dominating the area and visible from afar. The building now houses the main hub for SU's College of Visual and Performing Arts, the School of Music, several art studios, music practice rooms, a beautiful 1,000-seat auditorium, and Crouse's Holtkamp Organ. In 2005 PACNY awarded Syracuse University a Preservation Merit Award for its work on the restoration of the exterior masonry and the stained glass windows of Crouse College.

Tolley Humanities Center was also designed by Russell in 1889 as the Von Ranke Library, in a more severe medieval style, but still with turrets. In 1907, when Carnegie Library was built its purpose changed. Later it was named Tolley Hall and served as the university administration building. Since its 2007 renovation it has been the Humanities Center and houses a variety of interdisciplinary programs.

Slocum Hall was designed by Syracuse University School of Architecture professors Frederick W. Revels and Earl Hallenback and funded by philanthropist Mrs. Russell Sage as a memorial to her father. Construction began in April 1916, but due to World War I and labor shortages it was not finished until 1918. It served as the home of the agriculture school and other programs, including the School of Architecture. Last year, after a two-year renovation, the building became the home of the School of Architecture, which now occupies the entire building. The renovation was carried out by Garrison Architects, and is highlighted by the opening up of the building’s great atrium, which had been built over in past years to gain floor space.

Gruber and Bucci will discuss the broad process and implications of bringing old university buildings up to twenty-first century standards while still maintaining their historic form, and they will look at many of the details of how this was done in these three buildings. The tour will end with discussion of the University’s newest renovation project, now in its planning phase.

Donation for the tour will be $10.00 for PACNY Members and $12.00 for non-members.

Sam Gruber is past-president of PACNY, and is now Director of the Plastics Center at the Syracuse University Library. Chuck Bucci is Assistant Director for New Construction at the Syracuse University Office of Campus Planning, Design, and Construction. Adding their expertise to the tour will be Jack Osinski, Project Manager, and Chris Danek, Academic Space Planner, both from the Syracuse University Office of Campus Planning, Design, and Construction.

The member-based Preservation Association of Central New York has been the area’s citizen voice for historic preservation for over 35 years. Founded as a reaction to the widespread neglect and demolition of historic buildings and neighborhoods in the 1960’s, PACNY has led the successful effort to transform our community’s perception and care of its historic resources so that now the City of Syracuse and Onondaga County have over a dozen historic districts which contribute to the region’s cultural and economic vitality.

For further information about PACNY, contact Michael Flusche (President of PACNY) at 315-569-6761 or See the PACNY website at

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