Northwestern University, 1856 Orrington

Project Team:

Dennis Langley
Tina Kress
Emily Kociolek

Completion Date:


Project Cost:


Project Description:

Orrington is part of a quadrangle of dormitories, sororities and fraternities that were built by the university in the 1920s. Since its construction there have been only minor upgrades and modifications to the structure. This project included new building systems, improved life safety features, added insulation at the building envelope, and modest reworking of sleeping rooms and common spaces. On the first floor – now made accessible by a new exterior ramp and patio – the original caretaker’s apartment and kitchen were replaced with guest rooms, accessible dorm rooms, and a small kitchen for use by the residents. The highly decorated historic lounge and dining room were restored with new lighting and sprinklers carefully integrated.

At the upper floors, the resident bathrooms were overhauled with new fixtures, finishes, and lighting. The original terrazzo floors of the dorm rooms as well as the interior trim and detailing were restored. The craft and proportion of the original building has been preserved while the amenities have been brought up to 21st century standards.