Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Wakefield Hall

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Institution Name: Northland College
Original/Historic Place Name: Wakefield Hall
Location on Campus: 1409 Ellis Ave.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1940original design Shefchik, Thomas J.
1941original construction Shefchik, Thomas J.
ca. 1969remodeled Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: poured concrete
Walls: brick
Roof: slate
ca. 1941-1969library
ca. 1969administration
ca. 2004-present (2007)admissions office

Landmark designation:
National RegisterWakefield Hall (1995)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Wakefield Hall, whose name changed from Memorial Library to eliminate confusion between it and the existing Memorial Hall, was originally designed to accommodate the library and was later converted to administrative offices when a larger library was needed. The first and second stories were open, with circulation and a reading room on the first floor, and stacks on the second floor. A dumbwaiter was incorporated into the plans to ease the transportation of books between floors.

Tomlinson Company of Ashland, WI were the contractors in charge of construction. Groundbreaking occurred on July 22, 1940, and the building was completed the next year. A book brigade was held to move the books from Wheeler Hall to Wakefield Hall. Each person was given a number and went in order to install the books. 20,000 books were moved in four hours on the first moving day. The rest were moved the next day.

Clare Marquette, wife of Northland College's professor of history, organized a tea to raise money for the additional equipment and accessories for the new library. The event was so successful that an annual Library Tea was held for the next fourteen years.

As foreseen in the original planning stages of Wakefield Hall, the College eventually needed a new library, which was completed in 1969. With the addition of two walls creating new rooms on the first floor, Wakefield was then transformed into administrative offices and now houses the Department of Admissions.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Bernstein, Rebecca Sample. Wakefield Hall [Northland College]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1995.

II. Location of other data:
Government Offices

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