Alumni eNewsletter: Peikoff Alumni House renovation near ends (Archives)

Photo: view of the upper level ceiling with scaffolding.
Brighter ceiling in the Upper Level.
Photo: outside view of the upper level of Ole Jim
Front side of the building with the restored stained glass windows and new paint job.
Photo: outside view of the Ole Jim.
The southeast corner of the building. New windows were installed and the detail trim is painted beige.
Photo: outside view of Ole Jim with plastic over windows.
Waiting for the arrival of the restored stained glass windows from Iowa.

March 8, 2007

At the beginning, the University was warned that it would be difficult to determine the scope of work and date of completion for a major renovation of a building as old as the Peikoff Alumni House (‘Ole Jim). This continues to be true.

The exterior wood on the "bowling alley" side (north, facing the Kellogg Conference Hotel) of the building was dry and rotten. Instead of replacing the wood piece by piece, it was more cost effective to rebuild it with new exterior wood. This had an impact on other phases of the renovation that were dependent on the completion of the "bowling alley."

The current schedule calls for the completion of the renovation in May.

Here is what has been done since the last report:

As much as possible, an effort was made to restore the exterior colors to what they were when "Ole Jim" was built in 1881. After some research, it was concluded that the original colors were brick red and cream with a touch of green for the window frames. The east (front) side is partially painted. It looks sharp, although a lot of things remain to be done.

There will be a new stairway from the first to the second floor, because the existing stairway was deemed unsafe. Due to building codes, the design will be different. Instead of making curves at each corner, which caused some steps to be very short, all the steps will be of equal size--and straight--with 90-degree turns at the corners. The University would like to have kept the original design but understood that it did not have a choice due to liability reasons, as well as new building codes.

When it gets warmer, the mortar between bricks in the lower level will be replaced.

The delays are small sacrifices in order to have the building restored to its best--a landmark we take a pride in and call home.

Posted: 8 Mar 2007

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