Lake Forest board oks college dorm demolition
BY LINDA BLASER firstname.lastname@example.org May 3, 2012 2:24PM
Updated: May 3, 2012 4:07PM
The Lake Forest College dormitory where jazz great Bix Beiderbecke supposedly composed In the Mist may have a June date with the wrecking ball.
The Lake Forest Building Review Board voted unanimously Wednesday to approve demolition of the 60-bed Moore Hall at Sheridan and Rosemary and replacing it with a staggered, two-building 235-bed structure.
On the motion to approve the design of the new Moore Hall, the commissioners voted 5-1 with Commissioner Jon Clair casting the only dissenting vote.
The City Council is scheduled to consider the demolition and building plan at Mondays City Council meeting.
The majority of the Building Review Board approved the plan for the four-story brick structure and retaining a subcommittee to work out final details. Clair wanted the college and its architect, Jim Curtin, to come before the BRB one more time before giving the plan his vote.
The commissioners liked changes made to the plan, which originally had one large building running parallel to Sheridan Road.
Instead, the new residence hall will consist of a pair of staggered four-story brick buildings. The southern building will lie in much the same footprint as the current aging dorm. The northern building will be situated parallel to it and closer to the interior of the campus.
The new dorm is estimated to cost $14 million, college officials said.
Sorry if this is old news to everyone, but I only just saw this article, and I am furious. I regret not taking the time, during one of my Racine trips, to stop at Lake Forest and see the campus. - Jam
Commissioners liked that no portion of the new hall will lie parallel to Sheridan Road.
Now I think it will be less visible from Sheridan, Commissioner Michael Bleck said.
The northern building will step down with the topography so that only three stories will be visible. That building will be 42 feet high at its peak. The southern building will be 52.6 feet high. The current Moore Hall is 52 feet tall.
The new buildings will be constructed of brick.
We want this building to look residential, Curtin said.
No tinted glass will be used and the floors on the Sheridan Road side will be dormitory rooms. Each dorm window will be equipped with blinds and there will be restrictions on lighting to eliminate light spill into the surrounding community, the architect said.
With the approvals in place, work is expected to begin as soon as the spring semester ends.
Demolition will be in June with construction to begin immediately, Lake Forest College President Stephen Schutt said. Construction is about a 15-month process. The goal is to open in August 2013.
The original three-story Moore Hall called East Hall then was built in 1893 as a dormitory for Lake Forest Academy. The top floors were replaced and a fourth floor added after a fire in 1922.
It was while he was a student at LFA that Beiderbecke is said to have written his jazz hit on a piano in the student lounge.
The current Moore Hall is made of combustible materials, has no sprinklers and does not comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Repairs to it would range between $8 million and $10 million, officials said.
Two indepencdent architects said the current structure is not historically significant and does not warrant preservation, Curtin said.