University of Kentucky

Patterson Hall Renovation

Lexington, KY

Following a condition assessment, Lord Aeck Sargent was tasked with repurposing the 1903 building, which was the first women’s dormitory on the University of Kentucky campus.

Used exclusively as a dormitory until 2014, LAS helped the University transform the building into a Living / Learning Center containing seven 25-person classrooms, two 45-person classrooms, numerous smaller seminar/conference rooms, study rooms, informal study lounges and faculty offices as well as three apartments for visiting scholars. The design ensured that the existing central informal gathering space remained for student gatherings, as it had been historically, but also for more formal lectures or events. A full technology upgrade provides the most modern teaching methods and blanket internet service throughout the building.

The project also endeavored to repair and replace decades’ worth of changes to the building to bring Patterson Hall as closely as possible to its original state. Wood doors and the gracious historic stairways were stripped of paint and restored to their original luster. Mechanical, electrical and fire-protection interventions were removed and reorganized in tightly controlled zones that were carefully designed to be clean and nonintrusive.

As part of an upgrade to modern building codes, a new elevator was installed and two new egress stairs were added. Not only serving as a life-safety upgrade, the stair towers serve as the first building block of a future addition to the rear of the building, which will become a second and more public “front” facing a large green space on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard once the adjacent Blazer Hall is demolished in 2017.

The building’s exterior brick was completely tuck-pointed, and the deteriorated metal cornices and gutters were restored. Side porches, removed over the years, were restored, and a roof deck was incorporated into them to create a wonderful second-story outdoor gathering space.

Serving as the historic centerpiece to the new dormitories surrounding it, and serving as their “living room,” Patterson Hall will be a surviving jewel of the campus for another 100 years. LAS is proud to have been part of the restoration of this magnificent building to ensure its continued use well into the future.

The project is LEED Certified.


Practice Areas

College & University