Harris Hall Renovation

Project Status

Construction Start: Early 2009
Completion: Fall 2010

Project Description & Statistics

Harris Hall, named for Norman Wait Harris (1846-1916), a prominent Chicago banker, philanthropist, and trustee and benefactor, was constructed in 1915 to house social sciences programs. The building was designed by Charles Coolidge, a principal of Shepley, Rutan & Coolidge, the architectural firm responsible for both the Chicago Public Library (now known as the Chicago Cultural Center ) and the Art Institute of Chicago. The NeoClassical building features Ionic columns and decorative applied pilasters at the top story. Today the three-story plus basement limestone structure accommodates the Department of History and general University classrooms.

The building has never undergone a comprehensive building wide renovation. Work to date has been done on an as-needed basis and includes office and interior build-out, fire alarm, masonry restoration work at the building exterior, as well as limited interior restoration.

The Department of History has outlined needs for more faculty offices, a faculty lounge, staff offices, lounge and study space for graduate students, and the new Center for Historical Studies. Newly configured university classrooms with capacities designed to current and projected demands, will be brought up to current university standards. A small, garden level addition will accommodate a History Seminar Room and the new Center for Historical Studies.

New mechanical and life safety systems are planned including a new HVAC system, new electrical, plumbing, sprinkler, and fire alarm systems. The exit stairs will be enclosed and the existing stair to the south, currently discontinuous at the second floor, will be reconfigured to be continuous from the basement to the third floor.

The building will be fully accessible, with a reconfigured accessible ramp at the highly-trafficked north entry to the building, and full accessibility within the building. A new elevator will provide accessibility to all floors.

Project Team

Project Management:
Ron Nayler , Associate Vice President for Facilities Management
Bonnie Humphrey, Director Facilities Management Design & Construction
John Brzezinski, Senior Project Manager

Architect, Engineers & Consultants:
Weese Langley Weese - Architect
Primera Engineers, Ltd. - Engineer

General Contractor:
Turner Construction

Additional Documents

Video: Harris Hall Construction

Contact Information

All questions or complaints should be directed to:

John Brzezinksi, Senior Project Manager
Northwestern University
Facilities Management Design & Construction
2020 Ridge Avenue, Suite 250
Evanston, IL 60208
Phone: 847-491-3677
Fax: 847-491-3869
j-brzezinski@northwestern.edu