Renovation Uncovers Set of 1930s Conti Murals

Conti murals from the 1930's were removed, restored, and remounted in the lobby.
Conti murals from the 1930s were removed, restored and remounted in the lobby.

Brewster Thornton Group Architects (BTGA) was tasked with upgrading the existing fire alarm system and providing a new automatic sprinkler system for the historic Edwards Hall Auditorium on the University of Rhode Island, Kingston Campus to bring the building up to current code compliance. The goal was to integrate the new systems into the building with minimal intrusion and to return the lobby and auditorium to a more 1920s-appropriate design. A respectful renovation and integration of the life safety requirements was accomplished with new exterior accessibility. Construction was halted when a set of Conti murals from the 1930s were discovered under studding applied to provide a better base for 1960s drywall. These pieces were removed, restored, and have been remounted in the lobby.

The interior design changes from the 1960s renovations have been removed or redesigned to return the auditorium and lobby spaces to appropriate finishes and color pallet. The lobby is now suitable for a variety of activities ranging from small and medium study spaces to performance intermissions and meet & greets. The project received a 2012 Rhody Award for Historical Preservation.

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