John C. Dolan Residence Hall
On the northern side of the Fairfield University property is Dolan Campus. This campus landmark sits on 200 acres of idyllic fields overlooking the Long Island Sound. It was originally owned by John Fox, the former owner of the Boston Post, who lost his mansion in litigation and sold to the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. This particular building, the former Julie Hall, was built in 1959 and served as the nuns’ residence.
Today after undergoing a complete four-story interior renovation that implemented a new MEP infrastructure, it accommodates students in 23 suite style apartments. Living in Dolan Hall has been said to be environmentally engaging through the use of the buildings Energy Dashboard. It attracts students and faculty to monitor the HVAC system and suite-specific or overall-building energy consumption to help occupants be mindful of their electricity and water consumption. All the residences; Campus Health, facility management, Information Technology Data Center, and College of Design; now have an educated hand in the helping reduce their carbon footprint.
The Chapel, previously used by the nuns, has been converted into a spacious student lounge. Its lower level serves as a study space with a loft like social lounge above. The original light fixtures and stained glass have all been meticulously refurbished. As I look over the banister down to the old Chapel floor I am reminded of the cloaked nuns in silent prayer. Upward a small stream of color tinted light draws my attention back and I focus on the exposed vaulted ceiling. Anchored by arches, that reminds me of a wooden boat’s hull, which open and lift the space. The hallway out of the loft brings studio style rooms to my left and larger suite-style rooms to my right. After exploring these living spaced I head outside to get a closer look at the brick exterior.