History of Pomeroy Hall (8)
Right: In this circa 1970 photo of Pomeroy Hall, we can see the barn that housed the WRUV studios at the rear.
In 1951 the Speech and Drama Department occupied the first two stories of the building after the Experiment Station departments in the building moved to Morrill Hall. The first floor was used for faculty offices, a large classroom, and individual clinical observation and examination rooms. New men's and women's rest rooms were also built on the first floor. The second floor was also used for offices, a classroom, and a seminar room for the debating club, and the third and fourth stories remained unoccupied.58
The Burlington Free Press reported the following in a September 22, 1951 article:
WRUV made its official debut broadcast from its studios in Pomeroy in January 1955. The program was carried was carried via a closed circuit system to the men's dormitories, Grasse Mount, Converse Hall, and the Redstone Campus.
Although the plans for the small theatre in the Pomeroy Barn were never completed, the east end of the barn was developed for studio space for WRUV. The studios in Pomeroy Hall and the barn continued to be used until the mid-1980s.59 The west half of the barn and the upper floor continue to be used for Theatre Department storage.
In 1971 a renovation plan for Pomeroy Hall is was approved in order to accommodate the growing number of students in the Department of Communications and Theater (formerly the Speech and Drama Department). The decision to renovate the building was made after plans for a new two to three million dollar communications center were put on hold because of budgetary concerns.60
Above: Pomeroy Hall, 1988. Photo: T.Visser.
Work began that summer on what was considered by some to be the worst building on the University of Vermont campus. Many of the interior rooms were changed by the removal or addition of partitions. Structural reinforcements using steel beams and laminated wooden beams were made on each floor. These beams were supported by new concrete piers in the basement. Suspended acoustical panel ceilings with fluorescent lights were installed throughout the building. The stairway in the front tower was replaced and a new steel and concrete stairway was built onto the rear of the 1858 addition to bring the building up to current fire codes. Fire doors were installed at the stairway entrances on each floor. A new gas furnace was installed and most of the plumbing and electrical systems were replaced.61
In 1975 Pomeroy Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the University Green Historic District.
A concrete ramp and four story elevator tower, right, designed by Dorwin Thomas Architects of Shelburne, Vermont, were added in 1981 to the rear of the 1858 ell to provide access to the building for those with disablities.62 These additions were later removed.
After years of planning, an extensive renovation of Pomeroy Hall was completed in 1997. The exterior appearance of the front section was restored to that of the late 1850s. The 1858 cupola was recreated based on the photographic evidence.
On the main block, the fenestration was also restored to its 1850s configuration with the removal of the later fourth story windows and the return to a three story configuration inside. The wooden rear addition of the 1880s was removed and replaced by a new three story brick addition.
Pomeroy Hall is now the home of the UVM Department of Communication Sciences and the E. M. Luce Center for Communication: Speech, Language and Hearing.
Above: Pomeroy Hall after
1997 renovation and expansion.