Work in Progress: The Restoration of Lynn Hall

Lynn Hall
Lynn Hall, in Port Allegany, Pennsylvania. photo / provided
The Restoration of Lynn Hall exhibition
Work in Progress: The Restoration of Lynn Hall, is on display in the Bibliowicz Family Gallery until October 21. William Staffeld / AAP
The Restoration of Lynn Hall exhibition
Students viewing the Work in Progress: The Restoration of Lynn Hall exhibition. William Staffeld / AAP
The Restoration of Lynn Hall exhibition
A view of some of the glass blocks on display in the exhibition. William Staffeld / AAP
The Restoration of Lynn Hall exhibition
Sketches of Lynn Hall on display in the Bibliowicz Family Gallery. William Staffeld / AAP
Lynn Hall, in Port Allegany, Pennsylvania. photo / provided Work in Progress: The Restoration of Lynn Hall, is on display in the Bibliowicz Family Gallery until October 21. William Staffeld / AAP Students viewing the Work in Progress: The Restoration of Lynn Hall exhibition. William Staffeld / AAP A view of some of the glass blocks on display in the exhibition. William Staffeld / AAP Sketches of Lynn Hall on display in the Bibliowicz Family Gallery. William Staffeld / AAP

Lynn Hall, a roadside inn outside of Port Allegany, Pennsylvania, was designed by Raymond Viner Hall and built by his father, Walter Hall, in the mid-1930s. The older Hall was, at essentially the same time, the contractor for Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater in Bear Run, Pennsylvania. The family had a long history as builders in the region and became known for their work using local stone. Raymond Viner Hall would have an important career as an architect, designing buildings throughout the area, including several in Ithaca. Wright's influence is clear in the younger Hall's work; the older Hall's work was also influential on Wright. The quarry for Fallingwater's stone is part of the Lynn Hall property. 

Lynn Hall, a strikingly modernist work for its time and rural location, became the home and office for Raymond Viner Hall once it closed as a restaurant. After his death, it sat vacant for years, deteriorating on the side of a mountain, until purchased by its current owners, Gary and Sue DeVore, three years ago. They have been working, at times alone and at other times joined by volunteers, to restore the hall and its associated cottage. In the spring of 2016, 30 students from the HPP and M.R.P. programs held their annual Work Weekend at the site. This exhibition arose from that experience and celebrates the idiosyncratic genius of Walter and Raymond V. Hall, along with the ongoing efforts to preserve their masterpiece, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

The exhibition will both tell the story of the house, and describe the restoration process. Materials on display will include historic and contemporary photographs, original drawings, and select building elements, such as the patterned glass and concrete blocks. 

Historic Preservation Planning: City and Regional Planning Graduate Program

Cornell is one of the first universities in the country to educate students in historic preservation and is known as one of the top ranking preservation programs in the world. The 10 to 15 candidates admitted each year bring a variety of experiences. Many come with humanities or social science degrees, and some have already worked in archaeology, architecture, museums, or areas related to historic preservation planning. Graduates with the master's in historic preservation planning work in state historic preservation offices, local planning agencies, landmarks commissions, private architectural firms, and cultural resource management companies. They also teach and perform research in the field.

This exhibition is being held in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the Historic Preservation Planning program. On Friday, October 14 from 4–5:30 p.m. there will be a Gallery Reception in Bibliowicz Family Gallery, followed by an Informal Comments session in the West exhibition hallway, Milstein Hall.