Just weeks after winning top honors from one trade magazine, the reconstruction of Eastern Illinois University’s Blair Hall has earned accolades from another publication.
The rebirth of fire-ravaged Blair Hall was named Renovation/Restoration Project of the Year by Midwest Construction magazine. The story appears in the December issue.
After an April 2004 fire destroyed the building’s interior, university officials chose to save the existing limestone exterior. The story details how the original 1913 look of the building was restored, while energy-efficient, technologically advanced features were installed throughout.
“They saved a beautiful building even though it was almost totally gutted by fire. That they did it in two years is a feat in itself,” read the jury comments. “The decision to save the building after the fire, rather than demolish it, showed forward thinking. The redone building is beautiful.”Blair Hall, the third-oldest building on campus, sits just south of Old Main, EIU’s flagship building.