Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Morrow Hall

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Institution Name: Lyon College
Original/Historic Place Name: Music Building
Location on Campus: 7th St. and College Ave.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1873construction completed Joblin, William J.
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: stone
Walls: brick
Roof: shingle
1873-1893old main (all classrooms and offices)
ca. 1893student union (meeting area for male and female literary societies)
ca. 1893other (headquarters for college's preparatory school)
ca. 1893academic department building (music and art)
ca. 2004-present (2007)other (meeting place and classroom area for Batesville's First Presbyterian Church)

Significance: architecture, education, history, religion
Landmark designation:
National RegisterMorrow Hall (1972)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

In terms of architectural history, Lyon College is in an unenviable situation. Lyon is an old college (at least by trans-Mississippi standards) that looks like a new college. The oldest independent college in Arkansas, it was founded as Arkansas College in 1872, but by the mid-20th century the Batesville residential district had engulfed the tiny "downtown" campus. Consequently, in 1954 the college moved to a new location on the eastern edge of town (about a mile from the original campus) and sold the downtown block and its buildings to the First Presbyterian Church of Batesville. (Lyon College is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church.) As a result of this move, the oldest structure on the current campus is barely fifty years old, and the college's historical buildings are no longer owned by the institution.

Morrow Hall, which for many years was known simply as the Music Building, was the first building constructed for Arkansas (now Lyon) College. As such, it obviously has historic value for the college and the community. For more than eighty years it functioned as a college building. Morrow Hall was renovated by the First Presbyterian Church in the 1950s and has been maintained in excellent condition by the church. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in October 1972, the same month the building and grounds served as the site of the college's centennial celebration. Because of the relationship between the college and the First Presbyterian Church, Morrow Hall is still utilized for select college functions.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Blevins, Brooks. Lyon College, 1872-2002: The Perseverance and Promise of an Arkansas College. Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Press, 2003.

Morrow Hall [Lyon College]. National Register of Historic Places nomination report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1972.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections

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