JE Dunn performed a rehabilitation of Pillsbury Hall, the second-oldest building on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus. Originally constructed in 1887 as a science hall, the renovated building now serves as a home for the Department of English, the University’s top-ranked Creative Writing Program, and the Humanities Engagement Hub.
Decades of neglect had left Pillsbury Hall deteriorating and with significant accessibility and code deficiencies. The 16-month project transformed it into a modern, vibrant learning space while retaining the historic elements that provide a link to the past. A new stair tower occupies the distinctive turret, with the restored original stonework of the interior walls exposed. The attic space, previously used as storage space, has been transformed into a soaring venue where natural light floods the wide space crossed by the original timber support beams – ideal for events such as guest lectures and author readings.