'Berg's Oldest Residence Hall Undergoes Renovations
East Hall, dedicated in 1903, will undergo major renovations, and feature a 13,000 square foot addition
The addition will accommodate more students, provide handicapped accessible bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as common areas for students to study and socialize, kitchen and dining areas for informal gatherings and laundry facilities.
"At Muhlenberg, we don't believe in rushing into things. But after a century, it's probably time for a major overhaul of this campus landmark," said President Randy Helm. “We believe we've got a plan that will preserve its quirky charm while upgrading it to contemporary standards.
East Hall is a cornerstone of the Muhlenberg campus and its oldest residence hall. A striking example of the Collegiate Gothic style, East was considered luxurious and cutting-edge among college dormitories when first built. While ongoing restoration and maintenance on the building’s exterior have been consistent, no major renovations have been done since an electrical upgrade in 1995.
“It is my honor and pleasure to be on the team tasked with returning East Hall to its original splendor, maintaining its unique charm and character,” said David Rabold, capital projects manager. “Respecting the integrity of the building while enhancing its support of our living and learning programs for student life is a challenge worth undertaking.
Students love East Hall’s quaint aesthetic, but the building interior requires a complete renovation of interior walls and floors, plumbing, electrical and air-handling systems, energy-saving control systems, technology and an elevator. All rooms in the renovated East Hall will also have individual controls for heat and air-conditioning.
The architectural integrity of the building will be preserved by maintaining the original fireplaces, the eclectic spirit of the uniquely individual rooms and the return of the original cupolas atop the south face of the restored East Hall.