Beloved for its grand porch, carved pediments, two-story rotunda, courtyard and marvelous marble staircases, the Anne Therese Guerin Hall stands as a fitting tribute to its namesake as the College’s first residence and academic hall, opening alongside the Conservatory of Music in 1913.
While the lower half of the building is bustling daily with students going to one of the eight classrooms or faculty and administrative offices, the top half of the four-story structure sits mostly vacant as access to the upper floors is limited.
Still a vibrant and significant structure, its 100-year-old beauty has not lent itself to the needs of present-day functionality and is in need of our help as part of the Guerin Elevator Renovation Project.
With its original 108-year-old elevators still in use, the College is in the midst of raising $420,000 to update the freight elevator so the College may begin meeting the needs of today’s students, faculty and staff, as well as current ADA standards for the building. An alumna and her husband have graciously stepped forward to offer a challenge match of up to $75,000 if the College can secure the gifts totaling $345,000 to complete the project. Donors of $1,000 or more will be recognized and will receive a stone paver along the Guerin Porch.
In updating the freight elevator, the College will be able to better utilize the second, third and fourth floors for classrooms, meeting rooms and faculty offices. As the College enrollment has grown steadily since 2015, the spaces in other buildings such as Hulman Hall and Le Fer Hall have become tight and overutilized. Unfortunately, Guerin Hall sits underutilized with plenty of available space for continued growth. Without proper access, it waits once more to be filled with the sounds and voices of our students.
Why not utilize Guerin for student housing now? The College completed a feasibility study several years ago of the upper floors hoping to restore the space for students, however, the cost to renovate and restore the space for students is out of reach for the College at this time.
In addition to the elevator upgrade, the College has prioritized updates to lighting throughout the building to LED, the Sister Olive Theater (“Little Theatre”), existing classrooms and issues with tuckpointing around the roof and in the courtyard. These updates will allow us to take care of and protect this beautiful building now so that she might stand another 100 years.