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CBU's oldest building finds new life as furniture

Memphis Business Journal
By Michelle Corbet

A historic building on the Christian Brothers University campus will find new life in the offices and homes of its alumni.

Construction and reclamation of the materials of CBU's first building, Kenrick Hall, began this morning with the removal of its iconic cupola.

“The cupola preservation has been the most challenging part of this project so far,” said Justin Grinder of Grinder, Taber & Grinder Inc. “We have gone through a significant amount of effort to brace and lift the cupola off of the roof in one piece. We look forward to repurposing several of these items on campus.”

Construction and reclamation of Kenrick Hall began Monday morning with the removal of the iconic cupola.

Built in 1939, Kenrick no longer offers functional use, but CBU recognizes its historical relevance and emotional attachment as the oldest structure on the university’s North Parkway campus.

In an effort to preserve Kenrick’s abiding value, craftsman and arborist Terran Arwood of Woodland Tree Service is collecting the building’s wood materials, as well as on-site tulip poplar trees, to recycle into furniture and keepsakes.

“It is one of my greatest pleasures to be able to reclaim and recycle pieces of this iconic building in this manner,” Arwood said. “It is particularly rewarding to work with an institution and building that clearly holds a special place in the history and hearts of CBU alumni and the greater Memphis community.”