Project's Summary

Riverdale Country School recently partnered with Ivan Brice Architecture to undertake a comprehensive restoration and retrofit of Mundelein Hall, a historic carriage house that was part of the school's Hill Campus annexation. The 170-year old building was in a state of disrepair, with deteriorating wood, leaking roofs, and overgrown ivy. Our firm took on the responsibility of converting the carriage house into administrative offices and an early childhood learning facility.

The restoration process presented several challenges, as the building is nestled into the hilly topography and consists of two separate floor levels. To accommodate the new uses, including a childcare facility and school business offices, we reinforced the structure to support increased floor loads. Additionally, we enhanced fire protection and integrated state-of-the-art building systems, ensuring long-term service, durability, and safety.

Inside Mundelein Hall, we focused on preserving the building's historic character while incorporating modern functionality. The interior boasts stained cherry panel doors with glass transoms, wood moldings, and replica milk-globe pendant light fixtures. Rather than opting for a commercial look, we utilized solid sheetrock ceilings with access panels. The space features porcelain tile, CAT-5 cabling, and childproof door hinges. These thoughtful details create a cohesive and inviting environment.

Externally, the restoration project included new bitumen and slate roofing, masonry repair, and custom-fabricated wood windows and millwork. To enhance the building's public presence, we designed a new steel and wood portico facing the street, near the school's main gate. The entire project underwent a thorough review and approval process by Landmarks, ensuring compliance with all historic preservation guidelines.

Riverdale Country School has been working with Ivan Brice Architecture for over 12 years on various renovation and restoration projects across its campus. Our collaboration began with "The Brice Plan," a comprehensive survey and assessment of the school's 18 historic buildings. Subsequently, we conducted the school's first ADA study, providing guidelines and recommendations for both the lower and upper school campuses.

For another noteworthy project, we addressed the deteriorating granite stone walls of The Main Building, one of the oldest classroom buildings on campus. Our team devised a comprehensive procedure that involved interior shoring and selective stone replacement to restore the structural integrity of the walls. We used locally quarried Westchester granite, stainless steel anchors, and marble sand mortar to ensure long-lasting preservation against future weathering.

Lastly, we tackled the Perkins Building, a classroom and library structure with roof forms resembling a Japanese temple. The building's tongue and groove roof decks and laminated beams had severely deteriorated, necessitating replacement. Our firm developed an innovative method using marine-grade shipbuilding adhesives, welded steel plates, and bolts to replace the rotted sections of the beams and restore the overall structure. The building was fully restored and re-roofed, featuring a new metal "crest" for added protection.

Through our partnership with Riverdale Country School, Ivan Brice Architecture has successfully revitalized historic buildings, preserving their architectural significance while integrating modern amenities. The restoration and retrofit of Mundelein Hall exemplify our commitment to delivering exceptional craftsmanship and design solutions for educational institutions.

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