Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus

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Institution Name: Moravian College
Original/Historic Place Name: Bethlehem Female Seminary
Location on Campus: Church St. in Historic Bethlehem
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1748original construction; Brethren’s House Unknown
1768original construction; Widow’s House Unknown
1819original construction; Frueauff House Unknown
1848original construction; Chapel (Hearst Hall) Unknown
1854original construction; Main Hall Unknown
1858original construction; West Hall Unknown
1867original construction; Chapel (Third Floor-Peter Hall); Clewell Hall Unknown
1875original construction; South Hall Unknown
1911original construction; Payne Gallery Unknown
1982original construction; Foy Concert Hall Unknown
Type of Place: Building group
Style(s) of majority of buildings: Contemporary, Colonial revival, Regionalist/Vernacular
Style(s) of minority of buildings: Contemporary
Building group type: Irregular
Relationship to landscape:
none specified
Ideas associated with building group:
none specified
1748-present (2007)master plan (campus)

Significance: architecture, culture, education, engineering, history, religion
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Brethren's House (1748) originally known as "Colonial Hall"
This four story structure was built in 1748 to house the Single Brethren's Choir of the early Bethlehem Moravian community. Various crafts and skill trades were carried on within the building and on adjacent grounds. During the American Revolution, it also served as a General Hospital for Washington's army during the winters of 1776 and 1777. Renovated in 1815, it was taken over by the Moravian Seminary for Young Ladies (later in 1913 incorporated as the Seminary and College for Women) and housed dormitory rooms, classrooms, the library, and meeting rooms up until the 1953-1954 merger with the Moravian College and Theological Seminary. For a brief period from 1953-1954 until the late 1970s, it housed classrooms for the modern coed Moravian College and also contained the offices and collections of Historic Bethlehem, Inc. and what was to become the Annie S. Kemerer Museum. In the 1970s renovations to the exterior and interior parts of the building highlighted the College's commitment to the nation's Bicentennial. This building now contains practice rooms, offices and meeting room of the College's Hurd Center for Art and Music.
Widow's House (1768)
The early Moravians built this in 1768 as a Choir House for the purpose of housing the widows among them, and it continued in this capacity into modern times. The building was originally seventy-eight feet by forty-four feet. In 1794 the east end of the building was extended twenty feet and, nearly one hundred years later in 1889, an annex measuring eighty feet by forty feet was built to the south. This building was purchased by Moravian College from the Moravian Church Northern Province in the mid 1990s and is currently used as intergenerational housing for seminary students and apartments for senior members of the Moravian Church community.
Frueauff House
This building was built in 1819 as the home of the Rev. John F. Frueauff, Principal of the Moravian Seminary for Young Ladies. It remained a private residence until 1914, when it was purchased by the former Seminary and College for Women. It was by then expanded to four full floors and at various times named East Hall and later Wolle House, in honor of one of the leaders of the old Seminary. At the time of the merger of the men's and women's colleges, it housed the Music Department of the former Seminary and College for Women. In the 1950s, the modern Moravian College moved to restore the structure to its original early 19th century form, and in 1971, after a brief period as a private residence, it became the official home of the College's president.
Chapel (Hearst Hall) (1848)
This wing, an addition to the west end of the Brethren's House in 1848, extends south. In 1977 the wing was renovated to include a chapel (now known as Hearst Hall) on the third floor, practice rooms and overnight suites on the second floor, and a dining room located on the first floor.
Main Hall (1854)
Built in 1854, Main Hall was used as housing for the Bethlehem Female Seminary. It contained the residence of the headmaster, dormitories, and classrooms and was one of the first Bethlehem buildings lighted by gas. This structure was renovated in 1958 to provide a women's dormitory for the modern Moravian College. The restored offices of the principal and reception areas now contain important collections of antiques and paintings.
West Hall (1858)
Built in 1858, West Hall provided space for an art studio, an infirmary, classrooms, and dormitory rooms for the former Bethlehem Female Seminary, later the Moravian Seminary for Young Ladies and the Moravian Seminary and College for Women. After the 1953-1954 merger of the Moravian College and Theological Seminary and the Moravian Seminary and College for Women, it was used as classrooms and is now occupied by the Moravian College Music Department.
Chapel (Third Floor-Peter Hall)
This recital hall is named in honor of Lily Peter, honorary alumni, poet, and patron of the arts, in recognition of her generosity and encouragement in the establishment of this music center on historic Church Street, where an earlier generation enjoyed the music of John Frederick Peter, 1746-1813. It is a large building of brick with a spacious dining room on the ground floor, classrooms on the second, and above them the chapel auditorium with gallery seating for about 180. It is furnished with an organ and adorned with beautiful stained-glass windows, gifts of alumnae of the former Seminary for Young Ladies and friends of the school.
Clewell Hall (1867)
Originally built as a private residence in 1867, Clewell Hall is located east of the Widow's House on historic Church Street. It was renamed for John H. Clewell, former Principal of Moravian Seminary for Young Ladies and the first president of the chartered Moravian Seminary and College for Women. It was used to house faculty and students up to the merger of 1953-1954. Since that time it has served as a Moravian College residence hall for men.
South Hall (1875)
Built in 1875, South Hall served as a dormitory for the Moravian Seminary for Young Ladies and later also contained for many years the Biology, Chemistry, and Physics Laboratories of the former Seminary and College for Women. It is currently occupied by the Art Department.
Payne Gallery (1911)
Originally built in 1911 as a gymnasium for the former Moravian Seminary for Young Ladies, later the Seminary and College for Women, it was rebuilt to be an art gallery. It reopened in 1982 and was at that time named The Frank E. and Seba B. Payne Gallery in honor of the family of a prominent trustee and benefactor of the College. It continues to be the showcase for the College's art collection, as well as exhibitions of other collections and artwork.
Foy Concert Hall (1982)
Part of the new Center for Art and Music, Foy Hall opened in 1982 and was named for a prominent trustee and long-time benefactor of the College. This venue is the College's primary concert and performance hall.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Bethlehem of Pennsylvania; the first one hundred years, 1741 to 1841. Bethlehem, PA: Bethlehem Book Committee, Chamber of Commerce, 1968.

Levering, Joseph Mortimer. History of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 1741-1892. Bethlehem, PA: Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce, 1968.

Schwarze, William Nathaniel. History of The Moravian College and Theological Seminary, Founded at Nazareth, Penna., August 30, 1858. Nazareth: PA, Times Publishing Company, 1909.

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Special Collections, Facilities Management Office
Government Offices

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