Remaking Our Entrance
By Siddhartha MitterA TC architectural treasure was hiding in plain sight
(Photography by Heather Van Uxem Lewis)
As the 125th anniversary of Teachers College’s founding approaches, everyone is getting into the act – including the College’s Office of Facilities Management.
“Part of our job is to be good stewards of our campus’ architectural beauty,” says Jim Mitchell, Assistant Vice President for Campus and Auxiliary Services. Together with Suzanne Jablonski, Director of Campus Facilities, Mitchell has launched several refurbishment efforts that will be completed in time for the 125th anniversary celebration, which will begin this coming spring. Targeted areas on campus include:
- The decorative iron railings that surround the exterior of the campus. The railings had fallen into a state of disrepair and could not be restored, so they have been completely replaced with replicas of the original.
- The Thompson driveway arch, which has been decoratively painted and re-outfitted with a historically correct light fixture.
- The exterior entrance doors to Russell Hall, which are currently undergoing restoration by the Office of Facilities.
The shield, in turn, sits near the top of an intricate vertical panel that is inlaid with a magnificent carving of a tree – “probably the tree of life,” Spratt says. Because of the carving’s many twists and crevices, Spratt and Osborne are likely to be at their work for at least several weeks longer.