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Administrators Plan "Mock-Up" of Renovated Old Quincy Room

By Hana N. Rouse, Crimson Staff Writer

As the June 2012 start date for the renovation of Old Quincy approaches, administrators announced that they will create physical, life-sized “mock-ups” of a room in renovated Old Quincy.

The models, which will include both a bedroom and a bathroom, will be constructed once the design plans are completed, which will happen “by January or so,” according to Quincy House Master Lee Gehrke.

“We have long planned to build mock ups of rooms to test design concepts as part of the Old Quincy Test Project. We are at the beginning of this process and a number of decisions have not yet been made,” Stephen L. Needham, the Old Quincy project’s program manager, wrote in an email.

The rooms will serve to test design elements and give the Harvard community a chance to see examples of the renovated rooms. The location of the mock-ups is as of yet undetermined.

Over the summer, contractors began testing construction elements in the Old Quincy building in preparation for the ongoing design process happening this fall.

In addition to evaluating the durability of Old Quincy’s preexisting plaster walls and woodwork, contractors installed seven windows in the building in an effort to determine which would work best in the redesigned building.

The renovation of Old Quincy is the first step in Harvard’s ambitious House renewal process that aims to dramatically overhaul the internal structure of Harvard’s 12 residential Houses.

The plans for Old Quincy, announced last May, will remove the walkthrough bedrooms and vertical entryways that are featured in the building’s current setup. While renovations to the interior the building represent a significant renovation, regulations require that the historic building’s exterior remain visually unchanged.

Administrators intend for Old Quincy to serve as a “test project” for future renovations.

Because Quincy contains two buildings—the neo-Georgian Old Quincy and the more modern New Quincy—planners will be able to test their renewal designs while impacting about 180 House residents.

The timeline for the remainder of the House Renewal project has not yet been determined.

—Staff writer Hana N. Rouse can be reached at

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