Neff Welcome Center

Lisle, Illinois / United States of America

The weathered limestone walls of Morris Neff's farmhouse have sustained the test of time proving their durability as an enclosure since its construction in 1852. These walls are rich in history, physical patina and spirit. This farmhouse served the fertile grounds on which the founding fathers transformed Benedictine University, at the time small, into the highly respected academic institute it is today. 
The importance of paying respect to Neff's original farmhouse was clearly understood from the beginning. After a carefully detailed restoration process to the limestone façade was complete, the once two-story dwelling was transformed into a gallery and events space with exposed limestone walls and timber framing. To ensure that the addition lived harmoniously with the original farmhouse, all limestone used for new construction was extracted from the original quarry that the existing stone was taken from. The addition, shaped by on-site limitations from easements and utility locations, forms an "L" shape embracing the original farmhouse on the north and west facades. Visually pulled away and elevated, the addition conceptually pays respect to the original farmhouse and site. It includes office space, a lounge, toilet rooms, mechanical and storage space, and a large conference room.

Architect of record

Nathan Casteel
DLR Group
222 S. Riverside Plaza, Suite 2220
Chicago, IL 60606, United States
Phone: 312-780-1024

General contractor

Dan Rea
International Contractors Inc.
977 South Route 83
Elmhurst, IL 60126, United States
Phone: 630-941-6861

Consultant 1

Kevin Wilson
600 W. Van Buren, Suite 900
Chicago, IL 60607, United States
Phone: 312-341-1045

Consultant 2

Greg Barnes
1100 Warrenville Road, Suite 400W
Naperville, IL 60563, United States
Phone: 630-753-8567

Consultant 3

Dave Frigo
Hitchcock Design Group
221 West Jefferson Avenue
Naperville, IL 60540, United States
Phone: 630-961-1787


James Steinkamp
Steinkamp Photography
923 Oakwood Terrace
Hinsdale, IL 60521, United States
Phone: 312-735-5333