Miss Porter’s School Main Dining Hall Renovation

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PROJECT Details

Constructed in 1831, this iconic building greets students, staff, and passersby. To best serve current and future needs, an addition was constructed along with renovations that prioritized, preserved, and enhanced the historic nature of the building.

To allow for sit-down dinners for the entire school at one time, the dining hall was renovated and expanded to accommodate 400. This space is adorned with an acoustical plaster ceiling framed by decorative cut daisies, the school’s flower, and an important part of its traditions. The space communicates to the exterior by way of floor-to-ceiling glass, offering an expansive view of surrounding hills and the central campus lawn. The kitchen and servery additions were demolished and rebuilt, doubling the size of the server and making for an easier flow of traffic during busy mealtimes.

A historic staircase, lobby, and corridor that extends from the main entrance to the dining hall were also included in the renovations. The original millwork from the 1800s was of exceptional quality craftsmanship; the new millwork is of the same quality and custom-made to match the historic pieces and look like it had always been there. At the same time, the modern amenities elevated the building. A key design element was inviting natural light into common spaces. This natural light invites people to enjoy the space and appreciate its historic significance.

The building’s expansion created offices as well as a lounge space that doubles as an art gallery. The addition’s exterior overhang was the perfect means to create a covered porch with inspiring views.

O&G is privileged to have Miss Porter’s School as a repeat client. A previous project included the transformation of an old grist mill (originally constructed in 1673) into a new admissions building complete with reclaimed barn board flooring and incorporation of the original grist mill grinding stone into the patio.

For this project O&G self-performed all general trade package work.

Founded by Sarah Porter in 1843, Miss Porter’s School is one of the nation’s most historic preparatory schools serving girls in grades 9-12 that groomed famous alumnae such as First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis.”

Architect / Engineer