Dyche Hall is an educational building on the University of Kansas, Lawrence Campus. In 1974, the building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in recognition of its architectural and educational significance. The building illustrates the early growth of the University of Kansas (KU) and the curriculum development of the state’s public liberal arts university. Constructed in 1901 with additions in 1963 and 1995, Dyche Hall houses the University of Kansas Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum, including areas used as offices, classrooms, laboratories, and specimen storage. The museum’s original collection, curated by Professor Lewis Lindsay Dyche, was the focal point of the Kansas Pavilion of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. As the building ages, the University of Kansas has undertaken restoration and rehabilitation efforts as well as made improvements to the building’s climate controls in order to preserve the Natural History Museum’s collections. This Historic Structures Report represents the next step in the on-going preservation process.
Rosin Preservation worked closely with the university’s Department of Facilities and Construction, academic department staff, and the project architect to guide rehabilitation of the 100-year old National Register-listed building. Rosin Preservation formalized this guidance in a Historic Structures Report, the initial iteration (v.0) of a living document designed to evolve as the University works through the phases of the rehabilitation project. The purpose of the report was to document the existing conditions of Dyche Hall and to recommend strategies for future maintenance and restoration. The common goal of all parties was to maintain the historic character of the property, particularly those parts that are highly visible to the public and character defining.
Rosin Preservation reviewed historic plans, correspondence, planning documents, photographs, and other materials located in the University archives. This information was analyzed to identify and understand historic fabric, patterns of disrepair and deterioration, and to prioritize repair and maintenance needs. Rosin then assessed the current conditions of the building, identifying and evaluating character-defining features of the building.
Following the field investigation and data analysis, the team identified areas of greatest need, discussed strategies for future rehabilitation efforts, and collaborated to produce a Historic Structures Report. This report represents the findings of this work and presents recommendations for both immediate and long-term maintenance and rehabilitation strategies that will ensure the continued viability of this significant building.