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Jim Smith ’87, MS’93

The house in question began life in 1941 as a lab for the Home Economics department and was called the Home Management Practice House. Senior “home ec” majors were required to live in the brick-and-stone colonial revival for two weeks to test their household skills. In the 1960s, it was converted to office space, but it became superfluous when the School of Human Ecology (SoHE) decided to remodel.

So in 2009, the school put the house on the market for $1 for anyone willing to move it to a different location. Linda Zwicker, assistant dean at SoHE, says that there were no takers on the house, so it was carefully deconstructed for use in the new, state-of-the-art building — Nancy Nicholas Hall.

Construction crews salvaged and re-used many items in the new project, she says. Oak flooring became conference tables, mirrors were salvaged and reused in the restrooms, and brass door knobs were reused as coat hooks. The stone surround from the entryway was reused in the preschool, and the fireplace mantle was salvaged and installed in the fifth-floor fireplace of Nicholas Hall.

Keep your eyes open, though, Jim. You never know when you might see another house on sale for a buck!

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