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Facelift for Stanford's Memorial Auditorium, new roof for Cantor Arts Center

Both buildings will remain open to the public during the restoration projects.

L.A. Cicero Memorial Auditorium

Scaffolding has been erected around the back and sides of Memorial Auditorium.

Crews are erecting scaffolding around three sides of Memorial Auditorium this month in preparation for a facelift of the 1938 building, including restoring its stucco, repairing its wooden windows and installing new copper gutters.

Across campus, crews also are erecting scaffolding at the Cantor Arts Center in advance of a summer project to replace the roof on the front of the museum – along Lomita Drive – and to replace the roofs on its two rotundas.

Both buildings will remain open during the restoration projects.

"The stewardship of Stanford's historic architectural resources has continued to be a focused effort to maintain our connections to the past and preserve our unique sense of place," said David Lenox, university architect and director of campus planning at Stanford.

"The 'facelift' of these two iconic buildings in the Arts District will complement the contemporary architecture of Bing Concert Hall, the Anderson Collection at Stanford University and the McMurtry Building for the Department of Art and Art History."

The restoration project at MemAud, as the building is affectionately known on campus, is expected to be completed before the start of the 2014-2015 academic year. The work is being done in accordance with a 2013 historical preservation study.

MemAud, which holds up to 1,750 people in its auditorium, also is the home of the cozy Pigott Theater, which holds nearly 200 people.

No scaffolding will be erected on the front of MemAud until after Stanford's 123rd Commencement Ceremony, scheduled for June 14.

At Cantor, the roofing project is the final phase of a multiyear, three-phase project which began in 2010 with the restoration of the museum's main lobby skylight.

During the summer, crews also will repair and restore the historic mosaic panels across the museum's front façade. Jane Stanford commissioned the mosaics in 1898, five years after the building was completed, from the Salviati Company of Venice, Italy. Antonio Paoletti, chief artist of Salviati, presented his designs in the form of watercolor renderings.   

The subject matter for the mosaic panels – learning, the arts and ancient civilization – was chosen to celebrate the progress of world civilizations as perceived in the late 19th century. Mosaics by the Salviati Company also decorate niches in the museum's north rotunda and adorn the façade of Stanford Memorial Church.

Crews also will repair the exterior stucco on the Cantor wing added in 1999 and will replace the glass of the storefront-style windows of the Cantor Auditorium, which overlooks the Doris and Donald Fisher Terrace and the north sculpture garden.