As part of a $65M multi-phase project, Purdue is renovating its Windsor Halls: Five women's residences that are quite old (buildings built between 1930-1950, mostly), linked by underground tunnels. This brief article by an architect working on the project, Sanford E, Garner, is from University Business magazine.
‘New’ doesn’t necessarily mean better. Shiny and new does have its appeal. But Windsor Halls also has a place in Purdue’s history. Students like to know that famous people, such as Amelia Earhart, once stayed there. That history was preserved during the renovation. Date rooms, once used for young women to meet their dates as men weren’t allowed on the residence hall floors, have been replaced by common areas. The renovation included restoring the ornate coffin ceiling, original woodwork, formal fireplaces, window seats and the fieldstone floors. The character of the residence halls was preserved in a variety of ways throughout the collegiate-Tudor-style facilities. Students want and need their privacy. After all, most students grew up with their own rooms and private bathrooms. When possible, we worked to create more private rooms and bathrooms. Because of the age of the buildings, however, we were limited by the mechanicals system to create an abundance of private rooms. To compensate, we used residential-style finishes and created more amenities so Windsor could compete with newer campus living options.