Georgian Court University

Lakewood, NJ

Georgian Court University, located along the shores of Lake Carasaljo in Lakewood, New Jersey, was once the estate of George Jay Gould, the eldest son of financier and railroad magnate Jay Gould. The core of the campus is a collection of seven historic buildings and four planned gardens designed by renowned New York architect Bruce Price between 1896 and 1898. The 155-acre campus was listed in the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places in 1978 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985.

With the assistance of Easton Architects, Georgian Court University was awarded an Historic Sites Management Grant from the New Jersey Historic Trust to prepare a comprehensive Existing Conditions Assessment and Master Plan to investigate the historic fabric of the buildings and associated landscapes. The buildings retained a high degree of original fabric and form, yet were underutilized due to material deterioration and code deficiencies. The Existing Conditions Assessment analyzed all components of the building envelopes, interior finishes and infrastructure, developed a conservation testing program, and provided recommendations for the most appropriate and effective watertight solution for the exteriors while retaining and maintaining as much original fabric as possible.

A key element to the Master Plan was developing a restoration methodology for the character-defining features and a landscape conservation plan that appropriately balanced history, use and maintainability while framing a vision for the future of the historic campus core. Allowing for programmatic flexibility and modern system upgrades reinvigorated the buildings for daily university use.

The first major project of the Master Plan to be realized was the Mansion roof restoration. The elaborate mansard roof is highly detailed with 28 carved wood dormers, balustrades, pediments and frieze panels. Easton Architects completed the roof restoration in 2011.