Thomas Hall was originally built in 1911 as a 27,000 square foot residence hall and chapel for the Jesuit community. It embodies great historical significance as it is one of the original buildings erected on campus and it is located along a portion of the horseshoe, the symbolic center of Loyola University New Orleans. In 2009, the building no longer housed the Jesuit priests, and the proposed program was to transform the building into a new admissions/welcoming center with associated ofﬁces. In order to meet the new programmatic needs, a discreet 5,100 square foot addition was constructed on the eastern side of the building. In an effort to respect the original historic façade the proposed design exposes a historic wall within an open multi-ﬂoor interior atrium. This open space is used for circulation. Now all users of the building can experience this historical expression by being up close to ornamental carved pre-cast books, ﬂora and tudor gothic crenellation. Above this atrium, clerestory windows allow natural light to ﬁlter through to the interior spaces of the building.
Through the restoration, the University sought to maintain most of the historic qualities of the building. This was accomplished through the restoration of historic features such as the tall stained and leaded glass windows on the front and east sides of the chapel, the refurbishment of an existing historic painted ceiling, the restoration of the existing historic marble ﬂoors found in the Presentation room (former Chapel), and the restoration of an existing historic stair that now serves as the main circulation stair.