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Lobby 7 Slowly Gets Face-Lift

By Frank Dabek

STAFF REPORTER

As Lobby 7 continues to slowly evolve, permanent bulletin board space and permanent tables and chairs will soon replace the temporary stand-ins currently in the lobby.

Wellington Reiter, professor of architecture and adviser to the group overseeing the renovations, said that the current kiosks being used as postering space were an “ad hoc measure” and were created from left-over construction materials.

The new kiosks will have an “aluminum and stainless steel vocabulary” that is more appropriate to the architectural features of Lobby 7, he said. The new kiosks will feature nine surfaces for posters and should be installed before commencement, he said.

The tables and chairs that are currently placed in the lobby when Bosworth’s, the Lobby 7 cafe, is open, will be replaced by new and more colorful tables and chairs, Reiter said. The new tables and chairs have yet to be installed because of manufacturing delays and will only be in place while the cafe is open. Current plans do not call for a return of permanent benches to the lobby, he said. Benches were ruled out in favor of the more flexible tables and chairs.

Gayle M. Gallagher, director of the information center responsible for managing the kiosks, did not return calls requesting comment yesterday.

Door renovation possible

Renovations to the lobby are complete but an upgrade of the entrance doors to include an air lock is possible, said David Fixler, the lead restoration architect from the firm Einhorn Yaffee Prescott that manages the project. The air lock would prevent drafts from entering the lobby during the winter months.

Reiter said that any work on the doors would be a compromise between controlling the temperature of the lobby and preserving the architecture of the doors and curtain wall. There are currently no firm plans to upgrade the doors.

Plans for new signs still on

Previous plans for a new information display system to replace the drop posters which graced the lobby before its renovation are moving forward slowly. According to Reiter, the group in charge of Lobby 7 has “taken something of a go-slow attitude.”

Questions about how to manage and organize the content that might be displayed on proposed flat screen displays and additional scrutiny of funding because of Institute-wide budget cutbacks have led to a “slower process than I might like,” he said.

Reiter said that the current Lobby 7 is “more lifeless than it needs to be” and that plans for a display system hope to “get more information into that space in a way that is respectful to the architecture.”