Bowdoin College

Chapel Towers

Project at a Glance

Brunswick, ME


Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc.

Project Type


Project Overview

  • Carefully dismantling and rebuilding two 150-year old towers, stone by stone
  • Sourcing authentic stone that would match the original façade
  • Working around a fully occupied college campus over the course of two academic years

The twin towers of Bowdoin College’s historic Chapel were originally built between 1845 and 1855, and designed by noted 19th century architect Richard Upjohn, who also designed the famous Trinity Church in lower Manhattan. However, due to the natural effects of weather and age, both towers were in need of significant repairs. Our self-perform craftsmen worked to completely reconstruct the two towers, performing all work in the heart of a fully occupied campus environment.

After a 12-month pre-construction effort, the north tower’s rehabilitation was completed in 2003, while the second was restored in 2004. The towers were carefully disassembled stone by stone, with each block carefully labeled and stored. Approximately 20-30% of each tower’s stones were replaced with granite from the same local quarry that supplied materials for the original construction.