After more than 30 years of being shuttered and $17 million in renovations, Centennial Hall will become the new hub of Johnson & Wales University’s Denver Campus.
The hall, originally named Treat Hall, was built in 1886 for Colorado Women’s College. In 2000, JWU purchased the campus in the Park Hill neighborhood, but the building remained shuttered.
The structure was renamed Centennial Hall in 2014 as a tribute to Colorado, the Centennial State, and to Johnson & Wales University’s centennial year. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The newly renovated Centennial Hall features classrooms, a café, faculty and administrative offices, and a great hall that will be used for events and as a learning laboratory for students. Many of the original finishes of Centennial Hall, including the grand staircase and doors, have been preserved or repurposed to allow the building’s grandeur to shine.
JWU worked with the Denver office of architects Hord Coplan Macht (formally SLATERPAULL Architects) and Saunders Construction, which oversaw the campus’ Founders Hall and Centennial Hall projects.
“Centennial Hall has come full circle from being an ‘old main’ building from 1886 to being a ‘new main’ student hub today and for future JWU students,” said Craig Welsh, the project’s lead architect with Hord Coplan Macht.
Along with the overhaul of the historic building, JWU also invested more than $15 million to renovate Founders Hall, built in 1929, into a modern residence hall.
“This is truly an exciting time at Johnson & Wales University, and these projects demonstrate our commitment to our students, Denver and Colorado,” said JWU President Robin Krakowsky.
In addition to the providing new spaces for JWU students, Historic Denver announced that Centennial Hall will receive the 2015 Community Preservation Award in October. The award is presented to projects that exemplify high-quality restoration, careful consideration of the city’s historic fabric and a commitment to the community.
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,” Levinsky said.