Sibley Hall, Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

As part of a conceptual design phase study, Cornell University contracted with several design firms to evaluate the existing roofs and develop roof replacement options for nine buildings on its Ithaca campus. Vertical Access was retained by one of the consultants to perform a hands-on investigation of the dome of Sibley Hall as part of the study.

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Building description

The west wing of Sibley Hall, completed in 1871, was among the first buildings constructed on Cornell University’s campus. The central portion of Sibley Hall, including the dome, was designed by Arthur Gibb and Ornan Waltz and completed in 1902, connecting the already existing east and west wings of the building. The dome consists of a steel armature clad with painted galvanized sheet steel. It is supported by a sheet metal clad drum that rises from the masonry structure at the center of the building.

Scope of work

  • Performed survey of existing conditions to help prioritize repair work and roof replacement. Documented general conditions and notable deficiencies using photographs hyperlinked to AutoCAD drawings.
  • Used an ultrasonic thickness gauge to determine sheet metal thickness at representative areas.
  • Performed live-feed video with the client to review construction details.

Building owner

  • Cornell University

In collaboration with

  • Argus Architecture & Preservation