Finegold Alexander Architects and Elaine Construction Complete Wellesley College’s Severance Hall Renewal Project


BOSTON– Boston-based Finegold Alexander Architects announced the completion of Wellesley College’s Severance Hall renovation and addition project, a significant milestone in the college’s commitment to revitalizing its residential portfolio.

This transformative project was the first in a series of Wellesley College’s residence hall renewals, setting a new standard for historic preservation and modernization across higher education institutions. The completion of the Severance Hall project marks a significant achievement in Wellesley College’s carbon neutrality initiatives.

Built in 1926, Severance Hall is a historic structure housing 100 student bedrooms, accommodating 162 students. The Wellesley College Severance Hall project is the first in a series of residence hall renewal projects to come –focusing on retiring deferred maintenance, life safety, and energy efficiency across its entire residential portfolio. This project provides a new approach to the historic envelope, including insulation at the interior, interior storm windows, and radiators sized for low temperature hot water heating. Simultaneously, the design team provided accessibility through a sensitive building addition to this historic 1926 structure. The student experience is enhanced through provision for small gathering and kitchenette spaces, as well as surgical insertion of technology and FF+E upgrades to the historic spaces.

“This project exemplifies our commitment to preserving historic structures while meeting contemporary needs for sustainability and accessibility,” said Rebecca Berry, President and Director of Sustainability at Finegold Alexander Architects. “We are grateful to have worked collaboratively with Wellesley College and Elaine Construction to breathe new life into Severance Hall.”

“We are proud to announce the successful completion of the Severance Hall renewal project,” says Michelle Maheu, Director for Planning, Design, and Construction at Wellesley College. “Our collaboration with Finegold Alexander Architects reflects a shared dedication to delivering innovative solutions that enhance the student living experience while preserving the historical significance of Wellesley College’s iconic structure.”

The project integrated modern technology into the historic living areas, aligning with Wellesley College’s goals for accessibility and equity. This project is one of a series of works Finegold Alexander has embarked upon with Wellesley College to update facilities and create a more sustainable campus.