Morton Hall

About the Project

Morton Hall, a 67 bed undergraduate residence hall in the East Wheelock cluster, was left uninhabitable after a four-alarm fire caused significant damage to the thirty year-old building. Belfor Boston, a firm with expertise in fire, smoke and water damage restoration, led the initial recovery process. Before any permanent renovation work began, College officials took the opportunity to evaluate and design long-term repairs.

Harriman Architects had been previously engaged to plan summer renovations to the building’s mechanical and fire alarm systems. As a result of the fire, the College expanded Harriman's scope of work to include full restoration of the building. During the initial planning and design process, the team worked closely with Residential Life to conduct a condensed program review. New floor plans will enhance the residential experience for Morton residents and members of the East Wheelock House Community, and better support the College's residential program. Following is a summary of renovations to the building:

  • Student rooms were configured in singles and doubles to support additional common space. The total number of beds increased from 67 to 84.
  • Temperature controls were made available in every bedroom.
  • Community space/lounges were added on every floor. 
  • An elevator was added in place of the former center stairwell.

North Branch Construction oversaw this fast-track project to ensure that the building was ready for opening at the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year.  Students began occupying the newly re-opened building on August 16, as planned.

Project Milestones

  • Morton Hall Fire: Oct 1, 2016
  • Student occupancy: Mid-August, 2017
  • Trustee approval for renovation: March 3, 2017
  • Architectural design complete: Feb 28, 2017
  • Initial property recovery complete (smoke/water damage, systems): Oct 28, 2016

Project Team

  • Project Manager: Win Chambers
  • Construction Manager: North Branch Construction
  • Architect: Harriman