Boody-Johnson House at Bowdoin College

The Boody-Johnson House has served many purposes at Bowdoin College, and Harriman was honored to be involved in its latest adaptation. The conversion from offices to a 26-bed dormitory required modern day systems and the preservation of architecturally significant features.

Through the renovation and restoration, new uses have been made of historic spaces. Student bedrooms now occupy former parlors with original millwork. Students gather in the cozy Chase Barn, an addition from the 1920s. Accessibility to the second floor was made possible by the construction of an elevator that did not expand the building’s form or proportions.

Project Overview


Bowdoin College


Renovation / Adaptive Re-Use


26-bed Student Residence

Key Contacts

Mark D. Lee, AIA, LEED AP
Daniel Backman, AIA, LEED AP


2020 Maine Preservation Honor Award

Enhancing and maintaining historic design

The Boody-Johnson House has been an important historic contributor to both the Bowdoin College campus and the local neighborhood. Originally designed by Gervais Wheeler and built in 1849, it is a striking example of Gothic Revival architecture. Wheeler designed the “English Cottage” for Henry Boody, a Bowdoin faculty member.

During the design process, a paint analysis revealed that the Boody-Johnson house had three different exterior color schemes during its history. The renovation included restoring a bold palette that recalled the period’s architecture. The careful work done to the exterior enhanced the building’s prominence along Brunswick’s Maine Street.

  • "The building enhances the Bowdoin College campus, continuing its legacy of constant relationship with the institution. It is now among the most desirable residences for students due to its blend of historic features and modern conveniences."

We’d love to work on a project together.