Graves Hall Restoration Photo Gallery Pages
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of a Restored Graves Hall
The Re-dedication of Graves Hall -- a Photo Gallery
Video of Re-dedication Ceremony - October 9, 2009
to Detail -- A campus icon is returning
ever with the start of the new school year. ready the story
Legacy in Stone -- Mike Brooks '85 is part of the team
of craftsmen who are restoring the historic building
A Jewel in the Crown --One
of Hope’s oldest and most
distinctive buildings is being brought into the modern era while
at the same time being returned to its original glory in an “adaptive
Building on the Past -- read
Graves Hall Restoration Project
One of Hope College's oldest and most distinctive buildings has been
brought into the modern era while at the same time being returned to
its original glory in an "adaptive restoration."
Site preparation for the work at historic Graves Hall, which contains
classrooms, meeting rooms and offices, began in spring 2008,
including the temporary removal of the signature "Hope College" arch
from in front of the building to provide access for construction equipment.
project, which totaled $5.7 million, was completed for the beginning
of the fall 2009 semester with a dedication held October 9, 2009.
Origninally dedicated in 1894, Graves is Hope's third-oldest building
and was constructed as the college's chapel and library in addition
four classrooms on the second floor. Built of locally quarried Waverly
Stone, and featuring a round tower capped by a conical roof, Graves faces
College Avenue at the end of a walkway fronted by the Hope arch, its
immediate neighbors including other campus landmarks such as Voorhees
Hall, Dimnent Memorial Chapel and the large metal Hope anchor.
Graves Hall was the first substantial building added to the Hope College
campus since the construction of Van Vleck Hall in 1856.
Graves Hall and Winants Chapel were named in honor of Nathan Graves
and Gerrit Winants respectively. The Graves and Winants families had
each contributed $10,000 toward the approximately $40,000 that it is
estimated that the building cost to construct. The families' ties to
Hope came through the Reformed Church in America, the college's parent
denomination, whose eastern members provided critical support to Hope
in its early years. Nathan Graves also donated books from his private
library to the project.
The cornerstone for Graves was set in place on
Oct. 12, 1892, at 2 p.m. It was formally unveiled by Hope President
Charles Scott and his successor,
President Gerrit Kollen. The building was dedicated on June 26, 1894.
Graves was built to house the college's chapel, named Winants Chapel,
and library because Hope had outgrown the two locations previously serving
that purpose, and served in those roles until it, too, was outgrown.
Winants remained the college's chapel until Dimnent Memorial Chapel was
constructed in 1929, and Graves served as the college's library until
Van Zoeren Library (also since replaced) was completed in 1961.
With the Library’s move to the new VanZoeren Library in 1962,
Graves Hall experienced another major transformation. The academic departments
of Sociology and Social Work and Modern and Classical Languages were
added, as were several student offices.
The former Winants Chapel became
part of the library in Graves after Dimnent Chapel was completed, and
after the library moved out Graves
was renovated in 1962 to provide more classroom space. Also during
the 1962 renovation, the former chapel became a general-use auditorium,
which was renovated in 1980 and became a center for lectures
and student films.
Graves has housed a variety of Hope programs and departments since
the 1962 renovation, and most recently was the headquarters of the department
of modern and classical languages for many years until that program moved
into the new Martha Miller Center for Global Communication in August
2005. Graves is also the home of the Children's After School Achievement
(CASA) and Upward Bound programs.
The two buildings at Hope
older than Graves are Van Vleck Hall, which was built in 1858, and
the President's Home, constructed from 1886 to
1892. Both buildings are within sight of Graves and, like Graves, border
the college's central Pine Grove.
The local stone of which Graves is made was quarried about a
mile away from campus along the Black River near the corner of
Waverly Avenue and Chicago Drive. The Tower Clock building on River
Avenue and Eighth Street in downtown Holland, built in 1892, is
another Holland building made of the stone.
more about the history of Graves Hall in the Spring 2007 A
Step Forward for Hope College: Building Graves Hall and Winants
The project was planned to restore the character of the building
as it existed before a major interior renovation in the 1960s and 1980s
while also meeting contemporary standards for access, safety and use.
is an 'adaptive restoration' - trying to get as true a restoration of
the interior as possible but also making
it as well-suited as possible for current needs.
The interior work undid many of the 1962 and 1980 changes, and
was informed by original blueprints from the college's collection
in the Joint Archives of Holland.
When the auditorium was renovated in
1980, the deteriorating stained glass from the building's chapel days
was removed and the seating
was angled toward the southwest instead of the south. The project
includes restoring stained glass to the auditorium's windows based on
surviving samples and reorienting the seating to
the original southern facing of the chapel era. The seating dropped from
163, but it now includes additional space for wheelchairs.
The former "Presidents' Room" immediately inside the main western
entrance, which prior to 1962 had been a study alcove and since was a conference
room which housed portraits of A.C. Van Raalte and past Hope presidents,
has become a gathering and pre-function area for the main auditorium.
the 1962 renovation, some of the larger spaces were divided to create
additional classrooms and office space on both floors,
including the addition of a knee-walled second floor within the high-ceilinged
northern end where the library stacks had been.
The smaller classrooms
and meeting rooms that were carved out of the central part of the main
floor in 1962 have also been reconfigured.
Another large classroom was created
on the northwest side of the lobby.
The main floor includes enlarged
and improved restrooms as well as a small kitchen for events
in the building.
The 1960s-era interior walls and the added second floor
that divided the northern end were removed and replaced by a large,
room that occupies most of the space, save for a secondary
stairwell which was installed along the eastern interior to meet fire
code. The new
large room also becomes the new home to the presidential
and Van Raalte portraits.
The restoration returns the original
central second story back to a four-classroom configuration, with the
addition of access
to the northeastern staircase.
The CASA and Upward Bound programs
both continue to reside in the building's lower level. They
each gained space from portions of the level formerly used as offices
departments. The lower level also continues to house the small
Chapel created in the 1960s and named for the Rev. Henry
Schoon, a former Hope professor.
In a significant change from the original,
the modernization prompted construction of a two-story addition
on the building's eastern side,
which faces the central campus. The addition was needed
to allow the college to include an elevator which provides access
to the top and basement levels for those with mobility impairments.
Particular care was taken to plan an addition that would blend as well
with the original
structure, with considerations including not only its design but also
covering. Sufficient quantities of the local stone
used on the rest of the building are not available for the entire addition
was used on portions of it), but with the
help of a historic-renovation architect Hope located similar stone
The college removed the open metal exterior stairway on
northern end. Although familiar to recent generations,
the stair, which provided wheelchair access to the building's main
floor, wasn't original
to the building.
Cost and Funding
The project, which totaled $5.7 million,was completed in
August 2009, in time for the fall semester. A generous challenge
gift from Edward ’64
and Diana Hellenga ’64
Marsilje was committed to the restoration
Jim Van Heest '80 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
in the College Advancement Office, 616-395-7778, or any other member
of the College Advancement Team at 616-395-7775.