Publications and Research

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Our research centers on the birth, life, abandonment, and a proposed adaptive reuse of an early 20th-century former social hall theatre in Shandaken, a former company town for manufacturing furniture, within the Catskill Mountains. Adaptive reuse involves renovating a building or space by repurposing the existing structure and inserting a contemporary design/function. The building housed a variety of purposes throughout its lifetime: a theater, social hall, bowling alley, artist studios, and residential apartments. Our proposal is to return the building to its original purpose as a social hall, performance space, and a flex space for year-round use for art exhibits, conferences, flea markets, and a place for the City Tech community to engage in design/build projects. While completing a digital site analysis including environmental conditions, regional history, demographics, circulation, and topography, the team also traveled to the site to survey the building using hand sketches, measuring devices, and photography. After exploring several options, the proposal is to leave the building configuration as is with a complete overhaul of the building shell to drastically improve the building energy efficiency. The existing dropped ceiling will be removed exposing the rough-hewn heavy timber trusses, showcasing a grand column-free space. Simple wood frame cabins will be behind the building as a forest retreat, built by City Techers. The proposal also includes solar panels, geothermal wells, and operable shades to deflect solar radiation. Lastly, the creation of a communal outdoor garden at the historic Square, the adjacent space between our building and the church, will add the finishing touches to the proposal.


This research report and poster, funded by CSTEP (Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program), were presented at the first annual Celebrating Research Excellence Conference held on August 10, 2023. Faculty mentor: Kenneth Conzelmann (Architectural Technology).



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