Spencer, Sullivan & Vogt's recently completed exterior restoration of Bagg Hall was recently featured in a front-page article in Redemption Rock News, a local newspaper for the towns of Princeton and Sterling in North-Central Massachusetts.
Bagg Hall was designed in 1884 by Worcester-based architect Stephen C. Earle, known for designing churches, town halls, and libraries across southern New England – the most notable of which was perhaps the 'Old Chapel' at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Earle's signature take on the Romanesque Revival architectural style is readily reflected in Bagg Hall's delicate proportionality and exaggerated arches, both of which can also be observed in the neighboring Goodnow Library, which Earle designed alongside Bagg Hall.
The Bagg Hall restoration project was originally intended to address minor deficiencies at the building envelope, including open mortar joints, spalling brick corbels, and a loose cornice. Closer investigation revealed that more substantial work was needed, including costly underpinning and rebuilding of the building's northwest corner, where long-term settlement of the foundation led to dramatic cracking in the brick masonry. Also added to the scope were fabrication and installation of historically-appropriate replica window sash to replace the damaged originals, selective repointing and replacement of masonry, mechanical and accessibility upgrades, as well as a small addition sheltering the basement entrance from rain and snow. Kronenberger & Sons Restoration served as the general contractor for the project.
As project architect Doug Manley notes in the article, "the project [ended] up coming in on time, and within budget, even with the additional challenges that the Covid 19 pandemic brought tot the scene. For the building's users, life safety has been improved with the addition of fire alarm and exit lighting, and overall comfort and efficiency is improved by tightening of the building envelope and enhancing the heating system."
Town staff is set to relocate back to Bagg Hall from their temporary offices on December 1st.