Don't be fooled by the relative calm outside. Though
much toil and sweat remains for Gilman
Hall's extensive transformation, the renovation of the
iconic Homewood academic building is well under
The $73 million three-year renovation effort to
restore the 92-year-old building began this
summer and didn't stop when fall semester came around.
Students and faculty continue to stream
through the active building, as do construction crews who
work four days a week from late afternoon
until early morning.
The Gilman renovation project, designed by New
York-based R.M. Kliment and Frances Halsband
Architects, seeks to restore the historic building to its
former grandeur, bring it squarely into the
21st century and once again make it a national model for
teaching and scholarship in the humanities.
Adam Falk, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences,
said that this exciting renovation project
seeks to restore, enhance and revitalize Homewood's "most
"Gilman Hall is the architectural and intellectual
heart of the Krieger School," Falk said. "It is a
building that will once again be worthy of the terrific
work that is done within it."
Currently, the construction manager, Bovis Lend Lease,
is focused on "early work packages."
Crews have thus far dismantled the stacks in the core of
the building, torn down several walls,
punched out strategic interior access holes to move people
and equipment, and gutted the former
location of the bookstore to get ready to dig a basement to
house mechanical systems.
Before, after and during the early demolition work, a
series of more delicate efforts have been
carried out, such as the careful removal of 100-pound
marble floor tiles that can be reused,
conservation of books from the stacks and the painstaking,
piece-by-piece relocation of artifacts in
the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Collection, an effort that
is still ongoing.
Students and faculty have been moving artifacts,
including an Egyptian coffin and a mummy, to temporary
holding rooms elsewhere on the Homewood campus.
The majority of the books from the stacks were moved
to the recently completed Library
Service Center located on the APL campus.
The Krieger School has paired up with the Sheridan
Libraries to hire a firm to conduct a full
inventory of the building's art and other historical
Opened in 1915, Gilman Hall was the first major
academic building constructed after the
university moved from downtown to the Homewood campus. With
five floors, it contains roughly
135,000 square feet of interior space and features a
signature bell tower. Following the renovation
work, the space available for academic departments will
grow from about 49,000 to about 55,000
square feet. Pooled classroom and seminar space will grow
to nearly 11,000 square feet.
Specifically, the renovation effort will bring
classrooms, faculty offices and other spaces up to
modern standards. The exterior of the building will remain
largely untouched, but the renovation will
give Gilman an extensively reconfigured interior that will
allow for better traffic flow and the
reassembly of all 10 humanities departments in the Krieger
School of Arts and Sciences.
Tammy Krygier, a lecturer in
Summer and Intersession Programs, and
Sanchita Balachandran, a lecturer in Near Eastern Studies,
prepare an Egyptian sarcophagus from the Archaeological
Collection for its move to temporary quarters.
Photo by Will Kirk /HIPS
The building's most visible and dramatic new feature
will be a three-story glass-topped central
atrium where there is currently an open, unused light
A second-floor courtyard will serve as a bridge
between the Hutzler Reading Room and
Memorial Hall, which will be largely untouched. It will sit
atop a first-floor space for the exhibition
and study of the university's archaeological collection,
which will be showcased behind glass walls.
The new basement for mechanical systems will maximize
space available for program functions
elsewhere in the building, including a 140-person film
screening room. The excavation work will begin in
February, at which time tons of dirt and debris will be
taken out one Bobcat load at a time.
Occupants of some fourth-floor offices have already
been relocated to temporary spaces on
the ground floor.
The building will remain occupied through the end of
the spring semester but then will close for
two years, during which time classrooms and offices will be
relocated to Dell House. Reopening is
scheduled for late summer 2010.
Martin Kajic, project manager with the university's
School of Arts and Sciences, said that the
sheer scale of this project will be the biggest hurdle to
"Just the move of the building's occupants will be a
massive exercise, and that's why we've
already started the process and planning," Kajic said. "And
I'm sure there will be many obstacles to
overcome along the way."
The project, including the costs of temporary space
needed during the renovation, is being
funded by a combination of university, Maryland state and