CONTACT: STEVE PARROTT
101 Jessup Hall
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-0552; fax (319) 335-0558
Release: Jan. 4, 2002
UI selects OPN Architects for Old Capitol Museum restoration
OPN Architects, Inc.
of Cedar Rapids has been selected by the University of Iowa to provide architectural
services to restore the Old Capitol Museum. The Cedar Rapids firm will be
assisted by Einhorn Yaffee Prescott, Architecture & Engineering, which
has extensive experience with historic structures, including restoration projects
on the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials in Washington, D.C.
Old Capitol was undergoing a restoration project when
a fire destroyed the building's golden dome on Nov. 20. OPN will head the
effort to rebuild the dome, to repair water damage to the rest of the building
resulting from efforts to put out the fire, and other building improvements.
The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, will be asked
to ratify the selection at its monthly meeting in Iowa City Jan. 16 and 17.
The Regents executive director authorized the UI to proceed with the selection
prior to the January meeting.
"We have been pleased with OPN's work on a number
of campus projects, such as the University Services Building, the old Hydraulics
Building remodeling, and the School of Journalism project. We were also impressed
that they are partnering with Einhorn Yaffee Prescott," said Doug True, UI
vice president for finance and university services. "These firms are enthusiastic
about the project, and they have reminded us that Old Capitol is truly a building
of national significance. It is one of only a few remaining original state
Other UI campus projects for which OPN is serving
as architect include the West Campus Residence Area Master Plan and an addition
to the Dey House, home of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.
Einhorn Yaffee Prescott is a 450-person architecture
and engineering firm with offices in Albany, N.Y., Boston and Washington,
D.C. Among the company's recent restoration and renovation projects are the
Old Executive Office Building in Washington, D.C., the Cloisters Museum of
the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Ellis Island Hospital Buildings,
Ellis Island, N.J.; Harvard University Main Library, Cambridge, Mass.; and
Blair Hall at Princeton University.
Old Capitol Museum annually attracts some 30,000 visitors
from across the state and around the world. Built in the early 1840s, it was
the first seat of Iowa's state government and was used by Iowa's lawmakers
and government officials until 1857 when the state government moved to Des
Moines. The building was then given to the University of Iowa. Since that
time, the Old Capitol has been a focal point of the university, serving as
a library, chapel and armory and providing space for classrooms and offices.
A six-year historic restoration of the building was
begun in 1970 in an effort to return the building to its original Greek Revivalist
style. The restoration included the offices of the territorial and state governor,
treasurer and auditor; the Supreme Court Chamber; the Territorial Library;
and the House of Representatives' Chamber. The building was reopened to the
public July 3, 1976, as the UI's contribution to the U.S. Bicentennial. Old
Capitol has been officially designated a National Historic Landmark by the
U.S. Department of the Interior.