The Restoration of Annie May Swift Hall

January 12, 2009

While the School of Communication prides itself in innovation and advancement, we have an equally firm commitment to the traditions that have helped shape our history. This allegiance is reflected in our three-year, $11-million project to restore Annie May Swift Hall, one of the oldest buildings on the Evanston campus. In the fall of 2008, we completed the bulk of the restoration and welcomed back our once-displaced radio/television/film and performance studies departments.

Originally designed by architect Charles R. Ayers, Annie May Swift Hall dates from 1895, with a north structure added in the 1920s. Working within the historic structure of the building, we restored the exterior facade and various interior spaces, renovated the auditorium as a theater/lecture hall, built new offices, and modernized heating and cooling. On the garden level, we enlarged window wells to let in more natural light. A new enclosed staircase and elevator were also added.

One of the renovation's many unique details is an ornate wood screen arching over the entrance stairwell. No one in the University community had memory of such a screen existing, but historic photos prove its former existence.

If you haven't already seen Annie May Swift Hall in all its classic glory, now's the perfect time to return to campus and experience it for yourself.

Photographs by Roberta Stack and Andrew Campbell

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