Grand Reopening for OSU Strand Ag Hall



We celebrated the completion of the Strand Agriculture Hall Rehabilitation along with 100 others at the grand reopening yesterday on OSU’s campus.

Excerpt from an article in the Corvallis Gazette-Times covering the event:

“In a speech in front of the building’s reopening Tuesday, Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, said the improvements to Strand were an investment in the state’s past and its future.

‘Strand was built eight decades before we knew just how vulnerable Oregon was to the mighty quake — which is coming,’ Courtney said, adding that Oregon is ‘long overdue’ for a major earthquake event. ‘(OSU) is an example to others who must take action to make their own buildings safer.’

The seismic upgrades to the building, which were made possible due to the $24.9 million in bonds and State Energy Loan Program funding, include brick masonry walls reinforced with steel bars and shortcrete — a construction technique designed to stabilize the building’s exterior. The improvements could provide people inside the building with valuable seconds in the event of an earthquake, said architect Doug Reimer, who designed the improvements to Strand.”

Read the full article on the Corvallis Gazette-Times website.

Window(s) to the Past: A Case Study at Oregon State University

At Oregon State University, Hennebery Eddy is leading the design of a $24 million rehabilitation of Strand Agriculture hall, a 100-year-old building with over 460 original wood windows.  The building is in the heart of the Oregon State University National Historic District, and a  priority of the project is to preserve the historical character of the building, including the character of its windows.

The design team performed a detailed and systematic assessment of the building’s existing wood windows.  It was determined that, with some exceptions, the windows were in very good condition.  The team considered a range of options, including replacing the existing windows with new.  Given the windows’ good condition, however, the team has decided to pursue rehabilitation rather than replacement.

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They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To

 Historical East Elevation

Historical Windows: Weighing Replacement vs Rehabilitation

According to the American Institute of Architects, building renovations and adaptive reuse projects represented 47% of the design and construction market in 2011.  Fenestration is a critical aspect of each of these projects, and it needs to be decided whether the building’s existing windows should be reused as-is, rehabilitated, or replaced.  Hennebery Eddy Architects is currently leading the design of a $24 million rehabilitation of Strand Agriculture Hall at Oregon State University, a 100-year-old building with over 460 original wood windows.  While we will talk more specifically about this project in a future post, it brought up several factors that both building owners and design teams needed to consider when deciding how to handle historical windows; including the windows’ condition, their historical merit, the quality of their materials, and their impact on energy use.

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Rehabilitation of OSU Strand Agriculture Hall

When completed in 1913, Agriculture Hall was the largest building on the Oregon State University [then called Oregon Argricultural College] campus.  One hundred years later, Hennebery Eddy Architects is providing design and historic preservation services for a $24 Million rehabilitation of the building.  The building is currently home to several colleges and departments, including its namesake, the College of Agricultural Sciences.  The unreinforced masonry building will receive a significant seismic upgrade, and accessibility and energy-efficiency improvements.  A gracious new entry plaza is being proposed for the west side of the building.  This plaza will provide universal access into the building, and will better connect the building to the campus’s Memorial Union Quad – a goal originally outlined in the Olmsted Brothers’ master plan for the campus.  In 2008, a large portion of the campus was designated the Oregon State University Historic District by the National Register of Historic Places.  The above image, an analysis of the building’s historical entry porticos, is being utilized to inform the design of the new west entry plaza.