Hogan Building Restoration Faces Challenges from Mice and Fish

Evanston, IL – The O.T. Hogan Building is part of the Northwestern University campus. It is one of three buildings dedicated to the study of biological sciences. The building’s Brutalist architecture features an unusual four-leaf clover-like footprint. It was designed in the 1960’s by Walter Netsch during his tenure at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Furthermore, it is an excellent example of his Field Theory; rotating squares to create complex geometries. Limestone panels and aluminum window wall twists around the center.


Building Blocks is contracted to replace the exterior window walls of the sixth floor. This entire floor is greenhouse pods. As a result, the unique geometry of Hogan provides an engaging project. Furthermore, an unexpected challenge presented itself after the windows were selected and installation planning began. The unusual challenge has nothing to do with the building itself and has everything to do with what goes on inside it.


The biological sciences department house their mice and fish in the Hogan building. The breeding habits of these animals are sensitive to the vibrations and audio frequencies produced by window replacement. As a result, the installation schedule this summer was arranged to allow a work stop from 8:30 am to 10:00 am every day. This prevents the building improvements from disrupting the mice and fish or altering the results of scientific studies underway.