Lesley University

Project Overview

Working for Lesley University in Cambridge, GFRC converted 13 Mellen Street into offices for the Creative Arts in Learning program, and 16 Wendell Street into offices for the Expressive Therapies program. These renovations received preservation awards from the Cambridge Historical Society for Lesley’s contribution to developing a campus with the feel of a Victorian village.

Hear from the Owner

“These two Lesley properties had served as rental properties for a number of years, and had received very little attention from the University. The project was challenging in many regards, but the end result is something the University can be very proud of. The buildings were sensitively transformed into fully functional academic facilities, while maintaining their original character within a residential setting. It was clearly a team effort that made this success possible, and one of those team members was GF Rhode Construction. Grant Rhode and his staff provide a superior level and quality of service, which is pretty uncommon within the construction industry today.”

Hear from the Architect

“Renovating two traditional residential structures into state of the art offices for two graduate schools at Lesley University, while simultaneously restoring them to their former glory as elegant historic homes, is not a typical task for a commercial construction company. Similarly, fitting out century old historic homes with code compliant fire alarm systems and a telephone/data network that meets university technology standards is not the usual fare of a custom home builder. GF Rhode Construction was successful in meeting both challenges. The results are two highly functional university structures, whose carefully recreated historic facades contribute to a campus street that was presented awards from both the Cambridge Historical Commission and the New England Victorian Society.”

Hear from the Builder

“There’s no postponing the students coming in September. We had to have these building conversions completed over the course of one summer. It was possible by having thorough project information from LDa Architects, and decisive leadership from the Lesley operations staff. Our celebration lunch at 13 Mellen Street took place a month before scheduled delivery of the building. Even raising the rear end of 16 Wendell Street and replacing the foundation that was sinking in peat was worked into the schedule.”

Credits and Links

LDa Architects LLP
Greg Premru Photography