Owner: University of Alabama
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
Little Hall, on the University of Alabama campus, was originally the first stand-alone gymnasium on campus. The use has evolved over the years and now houses the School of Social Work. The original design by Frank Lockwood in 1915, included an ornate wood cornice and entablature that had fallen in disrepair throughout the years. Multiple attempts to repair the cornice removed most of the original wood detailing, leaving a boxy facade that no longer kept with the Architectural style of the other buildings on campus. This project consisted of miscellaneous exterior renovations to the building, however the major focus was to restore the building facade to its original early 20th century glory. With minimal documentation of the original building, the Architect’s strategy was to implore careful investigation of what remained of the wood cornice along with early photographs from the University archives, in order to reconstruct an accurate interpretation of the original design. Since the original detailing was previously constructed of wood, the building’s structure was not adequate to support additional stone or precast concrete, thus the decision was made to replace the cornice and entablature. The replacement of these pieces allowed for an accurate reconstruction of the multiple detailed profiles around the building using a product that is attractive, easily maintained and ultimately reweaves this historic building back into the fabric of the campus.