Lyman Hall, Brown University

Project Summary

Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Noteworthy: Exact replication of three curved wood window sash with unique curved-corner square panes

Historic Designation: Part of the College Hill Historic District

M&A’s Scope: Wood window restoration at 130 openings, window sill replacement, replication of radius window sash, restoration of exterior balustrade, and historic door replication

Owner: Brown University

Architect: CBI Consulting

General Contractor: Shawmut Design and Construction

Built as a gymnasium for Brown University in 1891, Lyman Hall now houses the Leeds Theatre as well as Brown’s Theatre, Speech and Dance Departments. The brick and sandstone structure was designed by architects Stone, Carpenter, and Willson, a prominent firm in Providence, RI in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, in the Richardsonian Romanesque style.

In 2008, M&A was instrumental in the preservation of this iconic building, completing the following:

  • Restoration of all the building’s 130 original wood windows
  • Replacement of the dormer window sills, each of which contained a group of three windows. 
  • Replication of the three double-hung windows in the central tower, which houses a set of spiral stairs. These special radius double-hung windows display headers at the same height, and the size of the upper and lower sash elongates as the stairs descend. M&A fabricated new mahogany sash to the exact dimensions, detail, and profiles of the original windows, replicating the window’s unique fenestration pattern.
  • Restoration of the building’s exterior balustrade at the building’s east elevation porch, which mimics the fenestration pattern of the tower windows. While M&A’s preservation carpenters restored portions of the porch balustrade, one of the ten foot lengths was replaced in whole, and large portions of the balustrade’s top rail were replaced in-kind.
  • Replication of an historic door and frame, which open onto the building’s east elevation porch
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