On Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, Wagner College rededicated Main Hall, its primary classroom building and architectural signature, following the comprehensive external restoration of the 82-year-old building. The restoration of this three-story, brick masonry Collegiate Gothic structure cost $15 million and took 17 months to complete.
David Martin, Wagner’s vice president for administration and master of the works for the Main Hall project, served as M.C. for the rededication ceremony. Also participating were:
- Richard Guarasci, who is celebrating his 10th anniversary as president of Wagner College;
- Frederic Koehler Sutter, grandson of Pastor Frederic Sutter, under whose leadership Main Hall was built in 1930, and of Otto Koehler, the general contractor who built Main Hall;
- Lily McNair, the Wagner provost who, with the support of Registrar Jeffrey Kraus, found replacement classrooms all over campus for the entire academic year during which Main Hall was out of commission;
- Ken Daly, New York state head of the energy company, National Grid, which awarded a $20,000 “Cinderella” grant to Wagner College to help cover the cost of the energy-efficient windows installed in Main Hall;
- Pastor James Smith ’05, college chaplain, who asked a blessing upon Main Hall, and
- Warren Procci, chairman of our board of trustees, who, with President Guarasci, cut the ribbon officially opening the restored Main Hall.
A video of the 30-minute dedication program can be viewed below — and, beneath that, you can watch a 30-second film taken in 1929 by Eleanor Koehler, the contractor’s daughter, of the laying of Main Hall’s cornerstone 83 years ago.
Below, Eleanor Koehler's brief film clip from the 1929 cornerstone laying:
Below, a photo of Main Hall, still under construction, on the day when the cornerstone was laid, May 30, 1929:
Below, a clipping from the New York Times about the cornerstone laying:
Below, a rendering by architect George W. Conable of Main Hall, ca. 1928: