At the Old State House, a picture is worth a thousand words
A little over ten years ago, the Olin Center at the Institute of Living (IOL) was founded in a beautifully renovated historic building on campus. In October, the IOL team marked their anniversary with a major expansion and technology upgrade that has opened the doors to a new array of research in the field of neuroscience. Tecton was their design partner for both projects and last week, we celebrated with them as they officially “cut the ribbon” for their new facility. The expanded space has made way for the acquisition of the markedly faster Siemans Skyra scanner – only one of five in the entire world. The Skyra’s advanced technology will allow the Olin Center to do more sophisticated research as they continue to make a name for themselves nationally and internationally.
It’s kind of a given that the traditional ribbon cutting ceremony is a great opportunity to see how the new or renovated architecture interacts with the people it is designed to serve. If a project has gone well, the ribbon cutting is a time of celebration and a chance to reflect on the lessons learned.
The ribbon cutting at the vibrant redesign of Vernon Social Center, now called Vernon Social, took the whole ribbon cutting ceremony one step further. Not only did the festivities last until a scheduled 2:30 a.m. (you read that right), but it featured the requisite speakers, musicians, belly dancers and a hookah lounge. I don’t know about you, but Trinity College has just raised the bar for all future project openings.
The Tecton team leaders who were on hand at the ceremony (but declined to comment on the belly dancing) were Ernest Nepomuceno and Kathryn Mease. Look for photographs of this truly unique student center soon. In the meantime, please feel free to contact us for more details.
The Hartford Courant reported the approvals from the City of Hartford for our design for the expanded Simulation Center.
Where would we be without our summer interns? Tecton took on four young women this summer to augment crazy busy production and marketing schedules, and we will be sorry to see them go as they leave this month to return to school.
Pictured from left to right is Chabely Nunez who is a high school student from Hartford’s Academy of Green Technology. She interned in the marketing department where she worked on a myriad of projects – proposals, database entry, interior design sample organization, and picnic planning. Never the same task twice, Chabely handled each assignment with grace, although she may never learn to understand Harvey Leibin’s handwriting (but then, few have).
In the center is Erica Barrows, who is going into her senior year at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York, getting a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture. She worked on a range of projects and areas, but mostly focused on a project for Trumpf, located in Farmington. She enjoyed seeing a project move from start to finish and learned a lot of new material in the process. Erica learned a valuable lesson this summer – that diligent, hard work (the project architects raved about her skills, BTW) is always enhanced by donuts and homemade cookies (that she generously shared on her last day).
On the far right is Angela Dariah, a former Tecton ACE Mentor Program student and daughter to our own Smedley Dariah. She is studying architecture at Hampton University in Virginia and is entering her third year. Angie starting working with her dad but was quickly commandeered to work with other project architects and has been in high demand. She has also supported the marketing department on a number of initiatives. We keep telling her that she should change majors, but I don’t think we’ve convinced her.
Missing from the group shot, but getting her own center spotlight below at the top of the Old State House is Melanie Whedon, entering her fourth year in the architecture program at Philadelphia University. While still in high school, Melanie also participated in Tecton’s ACE Mentor Program and kept us in mind when she was looking for summer internships. We were thrilled to have her, and she skillfully supported the healthcare studio for much of her time here. Of course, she was always welcome in the marketing department where we collaborated on a couple of projects and cursed the persnickety printers and plotters together.
On June 14th, the Wilbraham Massachusetts Fire Department celebrated the grand opening of their renovated fire station. Fire Chief Francis Nothe said he appreciated the community’s support in getting the renovation completed. It was a long time coming, he added.
“It was difficult to get traction going for this project. We spent about 20 years trying to do something,” he said. “Even though the town dealt with a tornado and built a new high school, we were finally able to get some of that traction and we were able to do it without an [Proposition 2 1/2] override.”
Lance Trevallion, Building Commissioner for the town of Wilbraham, acted also as Project Manager for the town on this project. “It has been my pleasure to work with Jeff McElravy and Tecton Architects on the Wilbraham Fire Department’s Fire Station addition and renovation project…As the Project Manager for many of Wilbraham’s facilities projects, I have worked with numerous architects and engineers; ultimately, Mr. McElravy and his associates rank among the most exemplary and talented. Jeff McElravy and Tecton Architects…has my highest recommendation and regard.”
By the end of last week, the scaffolding was securely in place for the summer restoration at the historic Old State House. Kronenberger & Sons Restoration Contractors will restore the cupola from the roof line up, including wood and metal restoration. A new copper dome will be gold leafed as will the Lady Justice. Look for the completion of this shining Hartford landmark in August.