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Historic Nicholson Hall to Reopen on January 27

Historic Nicholson Hall to Reopen on January 27

The new-and-improved building, which was built in 1890, will be the new home to the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies, the Center for Writing, and Honors, all units of the College of Liberal Arts.

Nicholson Hall, once home to the chemistry department, a Navy machinists mates school, and a U Film Society auditorium, has been completely renovated and will be open for classes beginning January 17. A public celebration will take place on Friday, January 27 from noon – 1:30 p.m.Renovated Nicholson Hall

The new-and-improved building, which was built in 1890, will be the new home to the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies, the Center for Writing, and Honors, all units of the College of Liberal Arts.

The $24 million project includes HVAC, telecommunications, fire suppression and ADA upgrades; replacement of the structure for the foundation, floors and roof; and much-needed classrooms and auditoria. Additional features include an outdoor courtyard on the south side of the building and a re-built turret, which was removed during an addition in the 1920s. Although the auditorium added to the south side of the building in the 1940s was removed as part of this project, improvements to the building's third floor increased the amount of assignable space available in Nicholson Hall.

The beloved art deco entry vestibule, Fireplace Room, and other historic elements were retained during the renovation.

Comfortable study space in Nicholson HallThe original architect for Nicholson Hall was LeRoy Buffington, whose work for the University of Minnesota also included Eddy, Burton and Pillsbury Halls. However, Buffington may be best known for his ill-fated patent for building skyscrapers—before any had ever been built—and his subsequent attempts to enforce his patent. Renovation architects were Minneapolis-based Collaborative Design Group, whose other historic/re-use projects have included Landmark Center, International Market Square and Midtown Exchange.

"With the opening of Nicholson Hall, the University and the College of Liberal Arts continue our commitment to being good stewards of the public's resources," says Steven Rosenstone, dean of the College of Liberal Arts. "We are very grateful for the support of the state and people of Minnesota, and I trust they will be proud of the renovation of Nicholson Hall, which not only preserves an historic and beautiful structure but also provides state-of-the-art facilities that serve thousands of students each year."

Nicholson Hall, along with the recently renovated Jones Hall, is part of the burgeoning humanities district in the historic Knoll area of the east bank campus.

Download the Portable Document Format Nicholson Hall reopening press release.

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December 19, 2005
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