Carter Hall Windows
Twenty-two years ago, then a student in the College of Performing and Visual Arts at neighboring Fraser Hall, I thought little about my future beyond the University of Northern Colorado. There was a job lined up with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts as a sound designer but through a series of events, I was hired at SLATERPAULL Architects to help in the print room and with deliveries while completing my degree at the University of Northern Colorado instead. Over the course of several months, my interest in the design and construction industry was peaked and after nine years, I was able to become a licensed architect in the State of Colorado. Fast forward thirteen years and I had the unique opportunity to return to the University of Northern Colorado campus serving as the Project Architect for the Carter Hall window replacement project.
As we explore the 125th year of the history of the University of Northern Colorado, it is only fitting that we take a look at Carter Hall.? The second building on the then Colorado Normal School campus next to Cranford Hall, Carter Hall was originally built as the library. When it opened in 1907, it housed a collection of more than 8,800 volumes. Carter Hall, so named for the Colorado Normal School’s first librarian - Alfred Carter - has undergone several transformations including an addition in the late 1930’s. The building remained the library until the University Library building (now James A. Michener Library) was completed in 1971. As the years passed, Carter Hall became the University’s Administration building, the function is still serves today.
After more than three-quarters of a century, Carter Hall has undergone a more subtle transformation.? Despite the modifications to Carter Hall over the years, the windows had never been replaced. These windows were well beyond their expected life, exhibiting signs of failure and deterioration as well as lacking energy efficiency. University leadership takes the treatment of the oldest building on campus seriously. Enter SLATERPAULL | Hord Coplan Macht of Denver, Colorado. This firm specializes in the design of education facilities across the Front Range and also has specialists in historic preservation. These qualifications led the University to hire SLATERPAULL | Hord Coplan Macht to aid in the replacement of all of the windows in Carter Hall. SLATERPAULL was charged with researching replacement windows that would provide the different departments housed within Carter Hall with modern, energy-efficient windows without changing the exterior appearance of the building. The windows were selected, the details were developed and the replacement of the windows in Carter Hall began at the end of the Spring 2015 semester to be completed over the summer. Along the way, many interesting details were uncovered. In one instance, a steel sill was damaged during the course of the removal and installation of the windows. What was discovered underneath was the original brick in almost pristine condition. With the window replacement project now complete, the inside of the building is brighter and the new insulated glass and the thermally broken window system will provide a more energy efficient building while maintaining the architectural character of the 76-year-old building. One of the most noticeable changes to the building can be often seen walking along Cranford Park as those in the building regularly open the new windows to allow in the fresh Greeley air.
Having been a student on campus, I understood the importance keeping Carter Hall operational all year around with high times that differ for each of the different departments housed within Carter Hall as well as a sensitivity to the student use of the building whether interacting with the Registrar’s office to confirm graduation requirements or as work-study within the building. It is with a great sense of pride that I was able to touch in a very small way the campus that provided me with an educational basis for my life's experience.
—Chris “Topher” Skulley (BA-93), Denver