Rockefeller Hall, located on the Schoodic Peninsula of Acadia National Park, is one of the Park’s most significant historic buildings. Built in 1934 as a three-story apartment building for the Navy, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. brought in noted architect, Grovesnor Atterbury to design this French Norman Revival-style exterior over a steel framed structure with a masonry veneer and half-timber facade.
The building remained largely vacant since the Navy returned the property to the National Park Service in 2002. In 2009, Barba + Wheelock was commissioned to explore and evaluate options to update the facility and introduce a new use as compatibly as possible. The Schoodic Education and Research Center (SERC) is the primary tenant and advocate for the building and the campus.
The primary use is on-site accommodations for visiting professors, scholars and others who come to the SERC campus. Additional uses include a Conference Center and Welcome Center for the campus on the first floor. The lower level will house support spaces for the planned Great Lawn, which will serve summer functions and other outdoor events.
Meeting the program goals while preserving the significant architectural features required many hours of discussions with accessibility and preservation regulators and development of an unusually large number of alternatives. I credit Barba + Wheelock for both persistence and imagination in finally arriving at a solution that met the needs of all parties.
– James Vekasi, Chief of Maintenance, Acadia National Park
B+W prepared drawings and specifications for the exterior restoration work, rehabilitation of interior spaces, life safety and accessibility upgrades. Other retrofit work includes upgrading building systems and installation of new fire detection and suppression system. All work was designed in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and reviewed by both the National Park Service’s Cultural Resources division and by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.