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February 2011 • Vol 6 No 11

Sheldon Hall to Turn Back to Clocks

The clock strikes 150 this year at SUNY Oswego, making it all the more appropriate that the clocks will return to the cupola of the college's cornerstone Sheldon Hall.
Project coordinator Bob Lloyd ’81 of Facilities, Design and Construction carries architectural plans for the upcoming $10 million historic preservation of the campus’s “Old Main,” Sheldon Hall, whose cornerstone was laid 100 years ago.

The campus' first and signature building will receive a $10 million facelift aimed at restoring its exterior to its nearly 100-year-old sheen as the college celebrates the sesquicentennial of its founding.

"This is a special and enjoyable project to be involved with," said Bob Lloyd '81, project coordinator for Facilities, Design and Construction. "The goal for this wonderful building is faithful historic preservation."

Lloyd said the college has worked with WASA Studio A, a New York City architectural firm that specializes in historic preservation, in planning the project.

Winning bidder for the preservation work is PAC & Associates of Oswego, whose tasks will include the following, from the top down:

* Cupola restoration, including clocks for each of its four faces.

* Replacement of the roof with new copper over its concrete base.

* Replacement of the several courses of bricks just under the rooftop, and repair and replacement of decorative terra cotta moldings and panels above and below the bricks.

Gladding, McBean LLC of Lincoln, Calif., will be subcontractor for all of the building's terra cotta, a clay-based ceramic material. It is one of three companies in the country so equipped, Lloyd said. PAC & Associates this spring will be cutting out sections of spindling, scrollwork, cornices, arches, columns — more than 80 distinct pieces in all — to send to Gladding as templates.

* Cleaning, with replacement as necessary, of the entire brick facade, including repairing and repointing the masonry.

* All new, historically faithful windows.

"We have found a replica aluminum window that will match what's there very closely," Lloyd said. The windows meet state Historic Preservation Office standards, as do other portions of the project, he said.

* All six columns that give Neo-Classical character to Sheldon Hall's Washington Boulevard face will be replaced.

* Granite steps for the main entrance's stairway, to replace the concrete laid over deteriorated original steps.

"We're hoping to be substantially complete by fall 2012, though the project could move into 2013," Lloyd said.

Sheldon Hall's cornerstone was laid in 1911. Classes began meeting in the building in fall 1913, and it was formally dedicated in 1914 — the year World War I began.

The building received its latest interior renovation in 2005, a $4.6 million restoration and reopening of the west wing.

Jeff Rea '71

PHOTO CAPTION:
Project coordinator Bob Lloyd '81 of Facilities, Design and Construction carries architectural plans for the upcoming $10 million historic preservation of the campus's "Old Main," Sheldon Hall, whose cornerstone was laid 100 years ago.



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