2022 Academic Projects Expanding Horizons: Huston & Company’s Growing Relationship with Academic Institutions

2022 Academic Projects

Expanding Horizons:
Huston & Company’s Growing Relationship with Academic Institutions

(Princeton’s reading room at Firestone Library. Photo credit: Matt Wargo) 

This morning I watched our neighbor’s oldest girl embrace her younger brother.  With a car packed to the brim, including the roof rack stacked with extra duffles and a beach cruiser, I quickly realized the bittersweetness of this moment: she was leaving for college.  The hug was tight, long, and spoke of its assumed space between the next time they would be together.  I was instantly flooded with emotion for this big next step in all of their lives.  What a monumental moment in time I was lucky enough to witness.  In the next breath, the moment was over, the driveway empty, the brother inside, and the other neighbors milling about as if just another day.    

This time of year many families are moving through similar preparations, exchanges, and embraces as the new school year commences; as a new life begins.  For those who have the privilege to choose to attend school at an academic campus, away from home, this drive away from home offers a pivotal step into expanding horizons.  

It is an honor for Huston & Company to partner with a growing list of Academic Institutions that support growing children and communities to feel solidly supported, comfortable, and surrounded by beauty as they embark on this new journey.  

Huston & Company began to spread its reach to Academic Institutions back in the early 90s, one of the first a partnership with Wayneflete, a local private school in Portland, Maine.  Huston and Company’s successor, Saer Huston, son of founder Bill Huston, attended highschool at Waynflete.  The school is known for their small class sizes, challenging courses, student independence, engaging teachers, hands-on learning opportunities, and supporting students to discover and follow their own passions.  The personal connection with the school led to a common sense and practical desire to create something to offer the school’s library durable, beautiful, and functional reading tables and study carrels.    

Not long after, Huston & Company developed a long term relationship with Princeton University.  The projects began with building a custom conference table for the President’s Office.  The projects grew and ranged from custom office furniture to outfitting entire libraries on campus.  Huston & Company now has furniture in approximately 20 different buildings and facilities on campus and continues to value this business relationship.  

This list of Academic Institutions partnering with Huston & Company continues to grow.  This 2022 list through direct contacts or collaborations with other architects & designers includes: 

  • Harvard Law (MA)
  • Princeton (NJ)
  • Sacred Heart University (CT) 
  • Nichols College (MA)
  • Milton Academy (MA)
  • St. Mark’s School (MA)
  • Dartmouth College (NH)
  • The Newman School (MA)
  • University of New England (ME) 
  • Colby College (ME)
  • Phillips Exeter Academy (NH)
  • Pacifica Christian High School (CA) 
  • Thomas Memorial Library (ME)
  • York Public Library (ME)
  • Cary Memorial Library (MA) 

When the pandemic hit, and the whole world as we knew it turned on its head, there was a lot of uncertainty which didn’t exclude Huston & Company and its growing partnerships with institutions.  As the world closed, so too did Academic Institutions.  As a result, project budgets froze, many were put on hold, or canceled.  This year, as things are re-opening, there is a rejuvenation of academic interest in working to create custom and fine furniture, refocusing on the “new” functionality and environments in spaces and renewed positive directions. 

(Milton Academy project in progress showing the glue up for half of a conference table.
Photo taken from the Huston & Co. shop by Saer Huston). 

The Academic reach of Huston & Company offers Academic Institutions and schools high quality custom designs of furniture.  Schools acquire a unique product delivered on time (in these post Covid landing times, this is not easy to come by for most things).  Over the years, Huston & Company has learned about the distinguishing variances between these institutions’ needs, desires, philosophies, and therefore the custom furniture crafted for them gets to meet the different learning styles, structures and philosophies at the heart of each school’s values.  Institutions also value longevity of studentship and community.  Huston & Company is delivering high-quality heirloom pieces that will be used and touch many generations to come.

Diversifying production in the shop has proven to be beneficial for all.  We look forward and welcome contracts with any size institution in the private or public sector to be in touch and begin a conversation.  The feedback we have heard time and time again is that investment today = savings in the future.  The high quality furniture is respected and cared for by students and staff alike for decades.   

(Benches built for Colby College. Photo credit Saer Huston).