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T.gif (202 bytes)he brick walkway into the newly renovated Erdman Hall is lined with bright chrysanthemums, and the large, rounded windows that border the front door are nestled under a wooden trellis that begs to be covered with flowering vines. This inviting milieu extends inside the building. The lobby, decorated in shades of purple, blue, and dark teal that are reminiscent of the Scottish moors, is bright and welcoming. A large, rounded cherry reception desk (affectionately christened “The Titanic” because of  its size) completed portion is a “beautiful  building.” He looks forward to the completion of Phase Two and “is excited about the new facility.”

After a long and careful planning process, construction work on “the new Erdman” began in January 1998. Phase One, which included the renovation of the existing Erdman Hall building that had contained both student and continuing education guest rooms, is now complete and provides, among other amenities, new offices for the continuing

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Some of the staff at the Center of Continuing Education including (from left) Scott Sheldon, Susan Repko, Doris Platt, and Sharon Kozlowski gather behing "The Titanic" - Photo: Chrissie Knight
provides ample space for registrants and staff alike as visitors to the new facility “check in” for classes, workshops, or seminars offered by the Center of Continuing Education, or for a Princeton Seminar sponsored by the Office of Vocations.

Over this desk hangs a plaque that reads, “This building is dedicated in memory of Charles Rosenbury Erdman and his wife, Estelle Pardee Erdman, who resided on this site for fifty-five years offering Christian hospitality to countless students and friends of Princeton Theological Seminary.” Joyce Tucker, dean of continuing education, hopes to continue to extend this same spirit of hospitality to the guests who stay at Erdman Hall in the future.

Judge Justin M. Johnson, a member of the Board of Trustees of Princeton Seminary and one of the first guests in the upgraded facility when he attended the October Board meeting, believes that Tucker and her staff are doing a fine job. “They did a really nice job on Erdman,” he says. “It was quite welcoming and spacious. And I was delighted to see that the building is reflective of our responsibility to people with disabilities. It is ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] compliant!”

Tucker adds, “We have exceeded ADA requirements by adding twice the number of wheelchair-accessible rooms than is required.”

This renovation and building project has special significance to another member of the board of trustees, Peter E. B. Erdman, who grew up visiting his grandparents’ house when it stood at 20 Library Place. When asked about the new changes, he commented that the

education staff; a welcoming lobby and reception area; and a lounge area with TV and VCR, couches, and large windows.

Changes also include the addition of sixty guest rooms, each uniquely accented by the diverse patterns and textures of the bedspreads, valances, and upholstery that echo the color scheme in the lobby. Some rooms are equipped with private bathrooms, and there are more double beds than in the former facility. In addition, the new Erdman houses six family suites, each with two bedrooms and a private bathroom.

“We wanted the sixty guest rooms to be as homelike as possible,” Tucker says. “We were concerned about the comfort of the beds, and we took care to provide as many private bathrooms as possible.” In addition, each of the guest rooms is equipped with modern conveniences that people have come to depend on including telephones, modem hookups, and voice mail.

These additions made an impression on Julia Osborne Christensen, a member of the Alumni/ae Association Executive Council (AAEC), who stayed at Erdman when the Council met this fall. “My first stay was delightful!” she says. “I especially enjoyed the updated, private bathroom and the in-room phone from which I

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Photo: Chrissie Knight

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