The John Maclean House, a National Historic Landmark, is one of two original buildings on the Princeton University campus. After nearly two hundred years as a residence for college presidents and deans, it was adapted in 1967 to serve as offices for the Alumni Association. The building had not been renovated significantly since 1967, and retained much of its original 18th and 19th century fabric. However, building systems were obsolete, lighting was poor, and the building was not fully accessible or code-compliant.
The goals of the project were to create welcoming and accessible public spaces for receiving alumni and to make improvements for an efficient, comfortable, and safe work environment for the Alumni Association offices. The design team developed options to better accommodate staff and visitors and to address existing conditions and aging systems. The team prepared documentation for the recommended program improvements; renovations/restoration to the envelope and interior; code compliance modifications; and building systems replacement and upgrades. Appropriate furniture and fixtures were provided throughout. Period finishes were restored and new, vibrant, compatible colors were introduced. A combination of period and unobtrusive, contemporary lighting fixtures were selected to support the use of the house and highlight its significant features. The entire first floor was made accessible, and new carpeting, rugs, window treatments, fabrics, and furniture were selected to complement the building’s historic character.