College Hall

College Hall was originally constructed in 1829 as the Meeting House of the First Parish, and purchased by Amherst College in 1866. The building was converted to an auditorium by the firm McKim, Meade and White in 1925-26, and then converted to administrative offices in the 1960’s.

This project addressed failures in the existing mechanical systems and building envelope, and brought the building up to current accessibility codes. The work included renovated interiors, the addition of an interior elevator, and exterior site improvements.

The historic character of the building was preserved by retrofitting the existing wooden windows with new thermal glass and weatherstripping rather than replacing them with new. Retrofitting the windows allowed energy performance to be increased, without damaging the vintage New England aesthetic.

The mechanical systems were completely overhauled and new basement machine rooms designed to house the equipment. Interior space was also reconfigured to allow for a new elevator serving all floors of the building. The new elevator, along with a new entrance and renovated bathrooms and kitchenettes, brought College Hall into compliance with current codes for accessibility. A new site drainage system was designed to increase long-term usability and durability or the building.

Project Team


C&H Architects

General Contractor

Structural Engineer