In 2007, Bowdoin transformed the 78-year-old Curtis Pool into an acclaimed recital hall that provides a visually and aesthetically impressive backdrop for performances that range from DJ Spooky’s acoustic creations to gentle clavichord renditions of 18th-century St. Petersburg salon music.
The company that originally built the pool in 1927 also oversaw the renovations of the building eight decades later. The job proved challenging: H.P. Cummings Construction Co., of Winthrop, Maine, had to remove the swimming pool that had supported the building’s walls without compromising the structural integrity of the historically significant building. The builders propped up the walls with tension bars while carefully extricating the steel pool.
When it was complete, the new Kanbar Auditorium and Studzinski Recital Hall – designed by William Rawn Associates in collaboration with Kirkegaard Associates and Theatre Projects Consultants – was recognized with two important design awards. In 2007, it won the Honor Award for Design Excellence in Higher Education Facilities from the Boston Society of Architects. And in 2008, the hall received the Merit Award in Architecture for the United States Institute of Theatre Technology. Kanbar Auditorium and Studzinski Recital Hall were made possible by the generosity of Trustee John Studzinski ’78 and Elliott Kanbar, of the Class of 1956.
The Bowdoin Daily Sun will regularly feature “Then and Now” to highlight changes on the college campus over the years.