Stanford Report Online

Stanford Report, February 14, 2001
Alumni-led architectural firm awarded for Toyon Hall renovation

Cody Anderson Wasney Architects Inc. has won a statewide award from the California Preservation Foundation for its renovation of Toyon Hall.

The 2001 Preservation Design Award in the rehabilitation/adaptive re-use category was given to the Palo Alto-based firm for its efforts to restore the historic 77-year-old undergraduate dorm to its former architectural integrity while rehabilitating it to meet current needs. Most of the $10 million renovation project was accomplished in 10 weeks during last summer's recess.

The award will be presented to the firm at a benefit event Feb. 24 at the Cantor Center for Visual Arts.

"It was a great honor to be entrusted with the renovation of this fabulous building by the university and I am delighted that the project was so successful," said Chris Wasney, a member of the Class of '80 and the principal in charge of the project for his firm. Other major project participants were also alumni, he said. "The fact that so many of the key players were alums contributed greatly to the team's success because we all felt a kind of ownership of the project and a heightened sense of professional responsibility," he said.

The Toyon Hall rehabilitation project is part of the university's 15-year, $185 million capital improvement program to renovate its aging student residences. Bakewell and Brown, a prominent San Francisco architectural firm best known for its designs of San Francisco's City Hall and the War Memorial Opera House, designed the 83,500-square-foot dormitory in 1923. According to Wasney, "Years of hard use, ill-fated 'improvements' and fire code upgrades had left the building in a sorry state. Recognizing Toyon Hall as a tarnished jewel, the university sought to restore its former architectural integrity while rehabilitating it to meet the needs of current residents and codes."

The project included façade restoration, re-roofing, seismic reinforcement, replication of historic light fixtures and landscaping. It also included integration of modern electrical, communications, mechanical and fire/life safety systems into the building.

Wasney's firm has completed several projects on campus, including renovation of the Cowell Cluster residences, Delta Kappa Epsilon house and conversion of the former Central Stores at Bonair Siding into offices for Facilities Operations. It is also designing a student services building on Salvatierra Mall that will house the Career Development Center and the Disability Resource Center.

The California Preservation Foundation is the only statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the state's historic structures. The foundation's awards program, now in its 18th year, honors California's most significant historic preservation projects, focusing on accomplishments in design, construction, planning, analysis and technology.