Lee Kennedy Company recently completed the comprehensive restoration and renovation of Harvard’s historic student residence, Claverly Hall, concluding the first phase of the three-phase Adams House renewal project.
Lee Kennedy is also putting the finishing touches on Apthorp House, a residence built before the American Revolution that is also undergoing a landmark renovation. Historic preservation renovations will soon begin on phase two of the project, the adjacent Randolph House.
The complete renovation of the Adams House, once home to future luminaries Franklin D. Roosevelt, William Randolph Hearst, Sr., Henry Kissinger and former Massachusetts Governor William Weld, is the latest development in the house’s renewal initiative. Harvard House, started in 2012. Located along Mt. Auburn Street and spanning Bow Street across from the Harvard Lampoon Building, Adams House is part of the Harvard Houses National Register Historic District and the Harvard Square Conservation District. The four buildings, known as the Gold Coast dormitories, were built at the turn of the 20th century as private luxury dormitories, providing wealthy Harvard men with an alternative to the antiquated student residences of Harvard Yard.
“Working together with Harvard on these historic projects and restoring them to their former greatness is a source of great pride for the employees of our company,” said Lee Michael Kennedy, President and CEO of Lee Kennedy Co. “In addition to make Claverly Hall accessible to all and supporting the academic and social development of students, this magnificent building is now breathtaking.
Claverly Hall was built in 1892 and has not undergone any significant improvements since its construction. Architecture and design firm Beyer Blinder Belle (BBB), which previously partnered with Lee Kennedy on the renovation of the historic Standish Hall at Winthrop House on the Harvard campus, was responsible for the renovation-design which preserves Claverly’s history and character, enhances its functionality, and provides ADA accessibility for visitors and residents. Lee Kennedy carried out a complete renovation of Claverly’s gut, reinforcing the structure with new footings, structural steel and resilient timber framing. A new entrance has been created, opening into a redesigned lounge that leads to new multi-purpose spaces for student gatherings and social interaction.
Lee Kennedy worked closely with the Cambridge Historical Society to ensure strict historical requirements for materials, windows and paint colors were met. Claverly is on track to receive LEED Gold certification. Students will return to the dorm at the end of August.
Apthorp House, which was originally built in 1760 but had not been renovated since 1930, is due for completion in early August. Like Claverly Hall, work on Apthorp House was delayed for five months due to a city-wide COVID-19 building moratorium, but resumed in August 2020. Renovation work on Randolph House, initially built in 1897, began in mid-July and, like Claverly, will undergo a complete gutting of the interior of the building.
The scope of work on Randolph will include structural, mechanical, electrical, fire protection and plumbing upgrades, as well as refurbishment of historic millwork, reproduction of murals, replacement of flooring and the restoration of an ornate staircase. Exterior improvements include complete repointing of the brick facade, reconstruction of chimneys and roofline, and construction of additional drainage structures in the yard. The Randolph House is expected to be completed in early 2023. Lee Kennedy has completed several landmark renovation projects for Harvard in recent years, including the Sanders Theatre, Widener Library, and Standish and Boylston Halls.