The building, constructed in 1885/1886, is approximately 40 feet by 70 feet with an exit stair addition on the rear. The building was funded by William Bucknell and is named in his honor. The building was designed by architect David Gendell in the Queen Anne style and no original design or construction documents exist. The two-story building was originally used as a chapel, but the main floor is now used as a performance space and for an occasional small wedding. The basement space houses The Stadler Center for Poetry.
The project scope included abating the 80-year-old asbestos roof shingles and replacing them with a 75-year warranty slate shingle to match the original roof. Workers had to carefully remove and catalog each decorative terracotta ridge cap and prepare it for reinstallation once the slate roof was complete. Both high and low box gutters was rebuilt with heavy duty copper lining to be wider and slope correctly to each new copper downspout.
The small library and offices on the basement level were repainted, new mechanical systems, new ceiling and lighting installed and textile composite flooring was used to resolve the moisture issues. The project scope emphasis was on the immediate exterior envelope issues and update of the mechanical systems with the desire to maintain and restore the historic character of the building.