Dillard University Lawless Chapel

Located on the historic campus of Dillard University, Lawless Chapel serves as the home of numerous campus functions and special events. Woodward Design+Build brought their extensive experience in historic restoration and their experience on the campus of Dillard University to completely restore, renovate and upgrade the facility.

The Lawless Chapel project required the renovation and reconfiguration of the existing chapel into a multi-purpose concert and assembly facility. This involved extensive coordination with the owner regarding the installation of A/V and lighting equipment. New lighting was installed along with the refurbishment of some existing fixtures. The altar area was reconfigured to maximize “stage” square footage while still matching the existing finishes.

Further interior renovations included repairing, restoring and replacing woodwork, millwork, doors and frames to match the originals. Restrooms were refurbished or replaced. The Chancel ceiling dome was replastered and new lighting was installed within the dome. A wooden catwalk was constructed in the attic for easy access to lighting, a/c ducts and equipment. New HVAC systems were installed in the attic to service the chapel. The mechanical room was reconfigured, including relocation of the existing equipment, to service the offices. The ceiling in the Choir Room had to be removed and replaced to install the large A/C unit in the loft. A new ceiling, hatch and Lapeyre stair were installed for easy access to equipment. The existing ceiling finishes in the Nave were removed, and Pyrock Acoustement Plaster was installed to achieve an NCR of completed Assembly between 6 and 7. The Social Room was reconfigured and refinished. Some flooring in the Chancel was removed and replaced to match the existing slate in the Chancel, Nave and Balcony.

The exterior renovations included the repair, restoration and replacement of existing plaster finishes, including the re-work of molding and medallions to match the profile of the originals. A wheelchair lift was installed at the side entrance of the building to access the Chancel area. The entrance for the lift was cut into existing masonry wall, where the existing woodwork and millwork were matched. A new clay tile roof and copper gutter system were replaced, as well as the original wood frames, doors and moldings.

Other projects at Dillard University include the Professional Schools Building, the International Center for Economic Freedom, Alexander Library, Stern Hall and fast track restorations following Hurricane Katrina.

Project Information

  • Category
    Educational Facility Construction
    Historic Restoration Projects
    Religious Facility Construction
  • Owner
    Dillard University
  • Design
    Manning Architects
  • Size
    17,000 Square Feet
  • Budget
  • Location
    New Orleans, LA
  • Completion
    December 2008

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