Rehabilitate.

John Carroll University selected Chambers, Murphy & Burge to walk the University, the architects (Hasenstab Architects) and construction managers (Krill Co.) through the State and Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit processes as well as listing the JCU North Quad Historic District in the National Register of Historic Places. Working as a team, CMB offered design and technical services along with the communications to OHPO and the National Park Service. Murphy Hall received more than $9 million in state and federal rehabilitation tax credits.

Designed in 1962, this Collegiate Gothic dormitory with Modern influences has a ground floor and two upper levels. The front entrance is centrally located looking out onto an open green space. Construction of this dormitory is representative of work completed across this state and adjacent states in the 1960s.

John Carroll University

John Carroll University


The building is symmetrical in design, and the main entrance is stone with detailed gothic arches above the doors. Adjacent to the main entry is the chapel with stained glass windows; the stone decoration is repeated around the tall stained glass openings. The exterior is narrow brick with stone quoins. The gabled roof is slate with a stone cornice.

With assistance from historic tax credits and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation as a guide, the distinguishing characteristics of the historic Murphy Hall remain today, much as they did when the building was constructed. The project is has received LEED Silver Certification from the United States Green Building Council.

John Carroll University

John Carroll University


The main focus of the project was redesigning the interiors to provide multiple living options such as triple and quad suites, singles and larger double rooms, as well as more private bathroom facilities. New study areas and social spaces are also available for students. In order to accommodate the new features, two 8,000-square-foot additions were added to the facility and an open concept lounge was developed in the middle of the building. The goal was to completely modernize the existing structure to suit today’s student living lifestyle, providing amenities in an environmentally sustainable manner, while allowing access for all.

Accessibility (ADA) was achieved through the addition of a new elevator which is accessible from all floors and at grade at the south “Quad” side. Accessibility was also achieved through appropriately sized doors with required clearances, and the necessary floor area and reach heights at restrooms, kitchens and other common spaces. The renovated spaces encourage interaction between residents by incorporating two common lounges, studies and kitchen/laundry facilities on each floor that are central to each wing.

The financial incentive from the federal Rehabilitation Tax Credits and the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits allowed this project enough financial leeway to restore the distinguishing characteristics that set Murphy Hall apart from its earlier sister buildings in the historic district.

Services Provided:

  • Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit
  • Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit
  • National Register Historic District Nomination
  • Design Compliance with Tax Credit Requirements