The Sitzmann Hall expansion project has won an award for its new addition to a historic building from the St. Paul Heritage Preservation Commission. The project was judged by the quality of its design, workmanship and materials; the respectfulness of the building's historic and architectural character; and the impact of the project on the surrounding neighborhood.
Sitzmann Hall was expanded in 2009 to allow for more office space, classroom space, a larger chapel and an elevator. Outdoors, a Marian shrine, patio and trellis were added, as well as a complete renovation of the landscaping. As a part of the Summit Avenue Historic District, Sitzmann Hall only could be expanded under strict guidelines.
In describing the project, principal architect Kurt Dale noted, "The design of the addition is complementary to the scale and appearance of the neighborhood and is not visible from Summit Avenue. Along Cleveland Avenue, the former flat roof area is enclosed, completing the slope of the existing roof with dormers like those existing on the Cleveland Avenue side of the building."
Dale went on to remark that by creating subtle but distinct separations between the existing building and the addition through the use of elements such as glass areas, the apparent scale of the total building was reduced, allowing it to comfortably fit into the neighborhood.
The St. Paul Heritage Preservation Commission advises the mayor and the city council of St. Paul. It consists of 13 residents of St. Paul, including a representative of the Ramsey County Historical Society. Three current members are architects.
To read more about the addition to Sitzmann Hall, see the December 2009 issue of Perspectives, available online at www.stthomas.edu/perspectives/2009/winter.