Location: Cobleskill, New York
Frisbie Hall, designed in 1912, was the first building on the SUNY Cobleskill Campus, one of four historic buildings forming the original quadrangle and has been determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places by the State Historic Preservation Office. Frisbie Hall was previously used for small classrooms and administrative offices.
In the late 1990’s, Frisbie Hall had undergone a comprehensive renovation that was insensitive to the original architectural character of the building. The renovation significantly altered the building’s public spaces and many original elements and decorative finishes were replaced with new inappropriate treatments.
The first phase of the project involved developing a program. Based on recent policy, the college established a project goal of achieving the highest LEED certification possible for the reuse of the building. An energy audit determined that attaining a certification status would be feasible, whereby a strategy for incorporating sustainable options in the design was developed to meet LEED criteria. The interior was entirely renovated and reconfigured to respond to the new program, while preserving the character defining features of the spaces. New insertions were carefully designed to be consistent with original elements, and materials were selected based on historic photographs and other evidence. New HVAC systems were carefully integrated as well.
The exterior was entirely restored including a new slate and copper roof, masonry cleaning and tuck pointing, restoration of the original double-hung windows and the original historic entrance. The quadrangle entrance was redesigned to incorporate ADA access, and the building façade was enhanced with the construction of a new entrance portico, designed to be in keeping with the original Classical style of the adjacent historic buildings. The building envelope was upgraded including the addition of insulation and interior storm glazing to meet New York State energy standards. The project was completed in August of 2010 and has been awarded a LEED Silver Certification.