Published October 6, 2016
As he addressed the hundreds gathered in front of Hayes Hall for the historic building's recent Grand Reopening Celebration, Dean Robert Shibley exalted in the outcome of the five-year renovation of a treasured university and community resource: "[It] has given us the best of the old, and the best of the new."
Shibley's tribute to Hayes Hall captured the spirit of the day in more ways than one. Indeed, the School of Architecture and Planning reoccupies the fully renewed facility just as it prepares to mark 50 years since its founding - a coincidence that turned the Sept 23-24 reopening festivities into a milestone celebration of the history and work of the school, and all that's now possible in a building that sets standards in historic preservation, design and sustainability.
“It is a spectacular facility, fully equipped to support our teaching, research and service in the place-making professions,” Shibley said during his opening remarks. “The quality of space and light, the embedding of technology in the learning environment, the efficiency of its systems — the search for knowledge will be better here because it’s a better place, and we want to be better because it’s a better place.”
Don't miss our wrap-up coverage of the grand reopening of Hayes Hall:
Hayes Hall underwent a $44 million, five-year renovation that included a complete exterior restoration and reimagining of the interior. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places over the summer and is on track for LEED Gold Certificaiton, the top rating by the U.S. Green Building Council for sustainable design and building.
The building was constructed in the 1870s as the Insane Asylum for the Erie County Almshouse. UB acquired it in 1909 and converted it into an academic building in the 1920s, and renovated it again in the 1950s. The School of Architecture and Planning has called it home since 1977.
After the formal ribbon-cutting ceremony, alumni, community members, faculty and students spilled into the building for a series of events that carried the celebration and invited reflection. In all, the two-day affair featured a a building-wide exhibit of the work of the school; a symposium headlined by alumni from across the eras; a talk by a distinguished alumnus playing a lead role in rebuilding Ground Zero; and a forum considering future directions for the school.
We are pleased to share the following recap of a momentous event for the University at Buffalo, the School of Architecture and Planning and the communities we serve. Thank you to all those who participated from near and far. This was the start of a conversation, with much more to come.
Spectacular, magnificent, glorious, remarkable. The adjectives and superlatives for Hayes Hall flowed freely - and often - at the reopening celebration as members of the UB and surrounding community reacted to the fully renewed historic landmark.
Click on the images below to view select remarks from the grand reopening ceremony.