The Catholic University of America

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Dedication of Restored, Century-Old LEED Certified University Building


10:30 a.m., Friday, Oct. 17


Father O’Connell Hall (outdoors, main entrance)
The Catholic University of America
620 Michigan Ave. N.E.
Washington, D.C.

DETAILS Catholic University’s newly renovated Father O’Connell Hall — built in 1914 and now LEED certified — will be formally dedicated with a ceremony featuring remarks by University President John Garvey, an invocation by Most Rev. Barry Knestout, auxiliary bishop of Washington, and self-guided tours of the building. The guest of honor will be Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., Diocese of Trenton, for whom the building is named. Bishop O’Connell, a CUA alumnus, served as University President for 12 years from 1998 to 2010 prior to his elevation to bishop.

The collegiate Gothic style building (with additions in 1959 and 1962) sits along Michigan Avenue on the largest college campus in Washington, D.C. The renovation preserves the grandeur and heritage of the 69,178-square-foot building, while incorporating modern design, materials, and technology. The building is LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, a designation given by the U.S. Green Building Council). Among the many “green” features are water efficiency through low flow plumbing fixtures, energy efficiency through daylight harvesting and motion sensors along with multi-zoned heating and cooling systems, and green roofs. In addition, the restoration process included recycled materials and local sources material and products.

Limestone, marble, bronze, glass, and wood used in the renovation reflect the surrounding historical buildings and architectural history of the University. The centerpiece of the building is Heritage Hall, a grand room with wood paneling, high ceilings featuring rosettes and other intricate molding, and bronze chandeliers. The room served as the University dining hall in the early 1900s and, with the restoration, looks virtually the same as it did then, reminding visitors of a long-ago era of college life.

Views from Heritage Hall and the back of the building (facing Michigan Avenue) capture the bustling new Monroe Street Market mixed-use development that has revitalized the Brookland neighborhood. Looking out from the front of the building, there are breathtaking views of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the University Mall, and other landmark campus buildings including McMahon Hall.

The building will house the offices of alumni relations, enrollment services, and admissions.

Individuals requesting accommodations for disabilities should call 202-319-5240 or email

This 1916 photo of Heritage Hall shows that the room was used both for special events and as a dining hall.
Heritage Hall has been restored to its original elegance and grandeur as part of the O’Connell Hall renovation.
MEDIA: For more information, contact Katie Lee or Mary McCarthy Hines in the Office of Public Affairs at 202-319-5600.


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