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HughesNews: Under wraps, Hughes gets its crown

Stories | Nov 04, 2011 |

Anyone who has shopped for residential real estate knows that it is often a smaller detail, not just the big idea, that sets a building apart and gives it character. University halls are no exception. Construction crews have been at work lately restoring one of the details that distinguishes Hughes: its cornice.

John Spaccarelli, Fordham University’s Director of Special Projects, who is overseeing the renovation, said that Hughes’s cornice serves a dual purpose. Sometimes called a building’s “crown,” it provides striking detail that defines how Hughes looks. Second, it is functional: The cornice acts as the gutter system, collecting rainwater from the roof and sending it down the leaders on the building’s four corners.

Hughes’s cornice is made of sheet metal, with metal tiebacks and a wood frame, Spaccarelli said. “The portion that you see from the ground is the white sheet metal that is bent and shaped to give the fancy detail,” he explained. The wood frame and metal tiebacks lie behind the scenes, as support. The renovation involved replacing the wood frame, which had rotted after many years of exposure to the elements. The newly shored-up frame ensures that the cornice will be able to perform its function as a gutter system.

Now that the cornice is repaired, what’s next? Flashing and light fixtures that will light the new “Glass Mansard Roof” that will soon top Hughes, which will be constructed above the cornice. Keep an eye out for future installments of HughesNews as the project moves into these phases and beyond.

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