Renovated Centennial Hall Honored with Preservation Award

Historic Denver recently honored Johnson & Wales University’s Centennial Hall renovation project with their 2015 Community Preservation Award.

The award, which is given to projects that exemplify high-quality restoration, the careful consideration of the city’s historic fabric and a commitment to the community, was presented at Historic Denver’s 45th Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony.

After more than 30 years of being shuttered and $17 million in renovations, Centennial Hall – which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places – has been transformed into the new heart and hub of JWU’s Denver Campus.

Originally named Treat Hall, the building was built in 1886 for the Colorado Women’s College. In 2000, JWU purchased the campus in the Park Hill neighborhood, but the building remained shuttered for more than 3 decades. The structure was renamed Centennial Hall in 2014 as an homage to Colorado, the Centennial State, and to JWU’s centennial year.

The newly renovated Centennial Hall features

  • classrooms
  • a café
  • faculty and administrative offices
  • student activity spaces
  • health and counseling services,
  • a great hall that will be used for events

Many of the original finishes of Centennial Hall – including the original grand staircase and doors – have been preserved and/or repurposed to allow the building’s grandeur to shine and flourish.

Saunders Construction oversaw the project, while JWU worked with Hord Coplan Macht (formerly SLATERPAULL Architects) for the buildings’ unique design features.

Historic Denver executive director Annie Levinsky said she was excited to see the functionality of the new space so well-integrated with many of the historic aspects of the building.

“The amount of thought and care that went into this project is incredible, and honors the dynamic between old and new so that Centennial Hall will vibrantly thrive for another century,” said Levinsky.

Pictured: Denver Campus President Robin Krakowsky (front row center) receives the Award. She is flanked by (left-right):  Jamie Pedler, Hord Coplan Macht; Denise Diebolt, Hord Coplan Macht; Craig Welsh, Hord Coplan Macht; Dick Saunders, Saunders Construction; Denver Campus Dean of Academic Affairs & Vice President Richard Wiscott; Kurt Swenson, Sodexo.