Aesthetics of the University Chapel have benefited as the result of an unlikely state mandate: new fire codes for exiting buildings.
As part of an ongoing program to bring its older building into compliance with newer fire safety regulations, the University recently replaced the Chapel’s five pairs of side doors with new doors that accommodate push bars for exiting, fitted the interior front doors with automatic opening devices, and installed lighted exit signs. Additionally, the building’s 11-foot-tall front doors and their elaborate decorative hardware were restored.
According to Dan Casey, coordinating architect from the Office of the University Architect, state requirements potentially meant clunky hardware and lots of wires, but care was taken to minimize visual impact. “We wanted not to harm the experience of going through the building,” Casey said.