Faculty, staff and administrators who work in Dallas Hall held a reception Aug. 16 to honor the restoration artists who have spent the summer painting and gilding the Rotunda. Ray Noesen (left) and Paul Lee of Conrad Schmitt Studios Inc. joined Interim Dean Caroline Brettell and other community members to celebrate the project’s completion — just in time for the Aug. 22 Rotunda Passage of SMU’s centennial class of 2011.
The artisans’ biggest challenge was working in an occupied building, Noesen said. Most of his team’s historic restoration work takes place in closed areas, while Dallas Hall kept normal hours all summer for classes, tours and administrative work. “But when 50 people go in and out of the same door at the same time every day, you figure out how to work around it,” he laughed.
“Those of us who work here have watched this process in awe. As we approach our centennial, what has happened in this Rotunda will become a powerful symbol for what is happening all over the University,” said Brettell, who called Noesen’s and Lee’s work “spectacular.”