Inside RMH

Aerial drone view of the upper northwest corner of Richardson Memorial Hall at sunset and lightly cloudy sky above, with scaffolding across the entire facade and dormers of the building.

photo by Nick LiCausi / TuSA

Roof repairs and addition steel framing underway at Richardson Memorial Hall

Roof repairs are nearing completion and steel framing has begun on the addition to historic Richardson Memorial Hall, home of the Tulane School of Architecture.

This stage in the renovation marks a turning point, from repairing and revitalizing the 115-year-old building's structure to now beginning the early stages of new construction and the manifestation of updated floor plans.

"They've done a really super job of providing us with a reliable, protective shell for our building," said Senior Professor of Practice Byron Mouton, the school's faculty coordinator for the project. "I think we'll now start to see a refreshing dialogue between the old and the new."

Most of the major repairs to the existing structure and building shell are nearing completion, with work on the roof trusses and the roof exterior being the final steps – as captured in exclusive drone footage by TuSA's Director of Fabrication Nick LiCausi (as shown above and below).

The roof's slate and copper-flashing materials are especially noteworthy.

"To get a true copper-flashed slate roof, that's a top-of-the-line install," Mouton said. "It will last a century."

While roof work finishes following the delivery of slate last week, steel framing has begun that will expand the building by 15,000 square feet and add critically needed space to the historic building's existing 45,000 square feet.

"It's really exciting. The crane's out there, and steel is beginning to go up," Mouton said. "That's pretty cool."

A diptych of two photos: left photo shows a close-up of the roof corner and the cooper-flashing; right photo shows a tall crane hoisting a long steel beam vertically as it begins to install it on the back of Richardson Memorial Hall.
New copper-flashed roof (left); structural steel is installed by crane. Photos courtesy of Byron Mouton / Tulane Facilities Services.

The relationship between old and new is also the focus for the building's technology needs, Mouton said. The renovation project team and IT teams from the university and school have been meeting and working together to bring innovative technology into the school.

"We need to figure out how to coordinate 21st century technology with an early 20th century building," Mouton said.

Work on the historic Richardson Memorial Hall began in spring 2022 and completion is scheduled for the 2024-2025 academic year. Tulane Capital Projects is leading renovation project partners Trapolin-Peer Architects and Broadmoor LLC Construction.  

aerial view of southwest corner of Richardson Memorial Hall with scaffolding surrounding the building, trees in the foreground and Loyola's campus buildings in the background and New Orleans skyline in the distant background.
Photo by Nick LiCausi / TuSA.
aerial drone view looking straight down at the full roof under repair at Richardson Memorial Hall.
Photo by Nick LiCausi / TuSA.


aerial drone view looking down at the back, or east, facade of Richardson Memorial Hall while under renovation.

June 28, 2023: Experience an aerial perspective of the Richardson Memorial Hall renovation, as seen in this June 26 drone footage, filmed by Fabrication Labs Director and renovation co-curator Nick LiCausi and edited by Visual Design Manager Catherine Restrepo. Watch the full video on YouTube.

View from the back of a historic limestone building with new slab in foreground, showing that the building will be getting an addition built onto it.

May 18, 2023: New slab was poured in April for the addition on the back (eastern side) of the building. Once complete, the addition will expand the building by 15,000 square feet, supplementing the building's existing 45,000 square feet.

Interior photo of renovation of historic building, looking at a doorway and above at exposed floor beams above the doorway

March 24, 2023: Major structural work is being completed at Richardson Memorial Hall, the historic home of Tulane School of Architecture, and framing of the building's addition will begin soon.

Digital perspective drawing of interior communal space, used for meetings and studio pinups, in the proposed renovation at Richardson Memorial Hall

March 15, 2023: Take a journey through the future Richardson Memorial Hall with this four-minute flythrough animation on YouTube or on Vimeo.