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Houses Undergo Summer Face-Lifts

By Suzanne F. Gauron

Undergoing face-lifts this summer, Cabot, Winthrop, Pforzheimer and Adams House will look a little different come this fall.

The summer's refurbishing projects focus on "brightening up the student's rooms," said Robert L. Mortimer, associate director for building services.

Card key access will also be installed in Winthrop and Cabot this summer, the only two houses without it.

Work on Cabot, Pforzheimer and Winthrop is refurbishment--not renovation--Mortimer said because it does not involve any structural changes or the installation of new systems.

However, Adams House dining services is building a covered skylight conservatory for extra dining hall seating in the courtyard beside the Gold Room, said Leonard D. Condenzio, associate director of dining services.

At the same time, Adams' kitchen and serving area are being renovated. The new kitchen will boast more efficient equipment and new plumbing and electrical systems. A new serving area design promises a more open layout for better flow of traffic. The serving area will also have higher ceilings with skylights and be closer to the kitchen so that students can see and talk to the cooks, he said.

"It's awesome that it's being renovated because it was crowded and disorganized [in the serving area]...I'm really looking forward to the frozen yogurt machine we were promised," said Adams House resident Jennifer H. Nam '98.

In Cabot, Winthrop and Pforzheimer, floors will be refinished and walls and ceilings will be repainted, Mortimer said. Furniture, especially desks and chairs, is being replaced in some rooms.

As the Committee on House Life recommended, new fluorescent light fixtures have been installed in hopes that better lighting will discourage the use of halogen lamps, officials said.

Much work is also being done on the houses' public spaces. Parquet and wood floors are being refinished, and the walls are being painted in colors which are "historically accurate" for neo-Georgian architecture, Mortimer said.

The new color scheme--which includes pale green, pale blue, taupe and ivory--was selected from original paint chips from the houses in consultation with experts.

Bathrooms are part of the renewal plan in Winthrop. New sinks, toilets, showers and tubs are being installed in Standish, one of the House's two buildings.

The same overall type of refurbishment is being done in Apley Court in preparation for the first-year residents this year, and a new fire alarm system is being installed in Currier.

On the exterior of the houses, building services will work to stop water penetration, which can damage slate roofs, chimneys, gutters and copper joints. Much of the stonework on House facades is being remortered and sanded, and workers will repair the wrought iron gates and fences along the river.

All 12 houses were previously renovated between 1981 and 1988. Harvard now refurbishes a few dormitories each summer on a cycle, reducing the amount of maintenance that must be done in the future.

The work on Cabot, Pforzheimer and Winthrop began after Commencement and will conclude in the third week of August. Both in-house and outside contractors and workers are part of the project

In Cabot, Winthrop and Pforzheimer, floors will be refinished and walls and ceilings will be repainted, Mortimer said. Furniture, especially desks and chairs, is being replaced in some rooms.

As the Committee on House Life recommended, new fluorescent light fixtures have been installed in hopes that better lighting will discourage the use of halogen lamps, officials said.

Much work is also being done on the houses' public spaces. Parquet and wood floors are being refinished, and the walls are being painted in colors which are "historically accurate" for neo-Georgian architecture, Mortimer said.

The new color scheme--which includes pale green, pale blue, taupe and ivory--was selected from original paint chips from the houses in consultation with experts.

Bathrooms are part of the renewal plan in Winthrop. New sinks, toilets, showers and tubs are being installed in Standish, one of the House's two buildings.

The same overall type of refurbishment is being done in Apley Court in preparation for the first-year residents this year, and a new fire alarm system is being installed in Currier.

On the exterior of the houses, building services will work to stop water penetration, which can damage slate roofs, chimneys, gutters and copper joints. Much of the stonework on House facades is being remortered and sanded, and workers will repair the wrought iron gates and fences along the river.

All 12 houses were previously renovated between 1981 and 1988. Harvard now refurbishes a few dormitories each summer on a cycle, reducing the amount of maintenance that must be done in the future.

The work on Cabot, Pforzheimer and Winthrop began after Commencement and will conclude in the third week of August. Both in-house and outside contractors and workers are part of the project

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