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Allen Univ Auditorium-4.JPG


Allen University


Columbia, SC



Higher Education

Historic Renovation





Allen University
Chappelle Auditorium

GMK Associates was retained by Allen University to provide architectural, engineering, and construction services for the historic restoration and rehabilitation of the Chappelle Auditorium, a landmark structure on the campus that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For the project, GMK provided designs for new mechanical, electrical, and fire protection systems, as well as the restoration of both the exterior and the interior of the building. 

Key components of the exterior renovations included masonry point up, window and door restoration, re-installation of original handrails previously removed, and restoration of the galvanized metal cornice. Of particular note was the restoration of the historic wood windows and doors. The window frames were restored in place, while the doors were recreated from scratch by local craftsmen based on the remnants of an existing door found at the site.

The interior upgrades included restoration of the iconic 700-seat Chappelle Auditorium. Originally designed by John Anderson Langford, known as the “dean of black architects,” Chappelle Auditorium has served over its history as a meeting place for political and religious leaders, as well as a venue for notable artists and musicians.

The completed project has recently been awarded a 2017 Historic Preservation Honor Award for Excellence in Preservation/Restoration from Historic Columbia and a 2017 Historic Preservation Honor Award the from the South Carolina Office of the Governor/South Carolina Department of Archives and History/South Carolina Archives and History Foundation/The Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation.

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