The renovation of Denison House, completed in fall 2010, repurposed the historic building as Gallaudet’s first “Living and Learning” College House. Constructed in 1880, Denison House, also known as “House Four,” is one of the four original university residences, situated at the north end of “Faculty Row.” House One—the university president’s house, anchors the south end of Faculty Row. The renowned architects Vaux and Withers designed the seven thousand square foot home for faculty in residence. In the early days, students occupied the building along with faculty and their families. Over time, the use of Denison House, Fay House and Ballard House transitioned to administrative offices.
Today Denison House is home to ten students and a faculty in residence. Students live and learn together in Denison house with academic and residential programs focused around a particular topic. During its inaugural 2010 / 2011 academic year, Denison House students’ experience centered around the theme of Bio-ethics, and this year the House residents are studying issues of freedom and philosophy through the theme of banned books.
Denison House is located within the Olmsted Green portion of the campus designated as a Historic District by the National Register of Historic Places. The renovation did not alter the exterior of the building but rather focused on improvements to historic appointments such as the wood floor and stone fireplace mantles. The project also provided a modern kitchen, formal dining and living rooms and a collaborative study space. The project serves as a model for the future repurposing and renovation of Faculty Row as a college house community.