Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Middle Hall (also Smith Hall 1903-1971)

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Institution Name: Ripon College
Original/Historic Place Name: Middle College
Location on Campus: center of three buildings along north side of upper campus
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1855-1863original construction Unknown
1931rebuilt Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: stone
Walls: stone
Roof: slate roof
ca. 1863residence hall (for women)
ca. 1863dining hall
ca. 1863other (meeting rooms)
ca. 1863classrooms
ca. 1888residence hall (for men)
ca. 1958-present (2007)administration
ca. 2004-present (2007)other (print shop)

Significance: education
Landmark designation:
National RegisterRipon College Historic District (1995)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Middle Hall has been remodeled several times, including a complete renovation after a 1931 fire that destroyed most of the interior. It is still in good condition, although not handicapped accessible. The designers and builders are unknown.

The building was designed as a facility for women students, reflecting the College's coeducational mission from the beginning. As the second of the three original buildings, it became Middle College after construction of the third. It later housed the College's first laboratory (biology), along with the "cabinet" or museum. After completion of a new women's dorm in 1888, it became a men's dorm, and after 1958 the headquarters of the administration. From 1903-1971, it was called Smith Hall in honor of a donor.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Ashley, Robert and George H. Miller. Ripon College: A History. Ripon, WI: Ripon College Press, 1990.

Cartwright, Carol Lohry. Ripon College Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/ Park Service, 1995.

Peotter, Tonya, Dianne Bell, George Miller, and Louise Schang. "Ripon College Buildings: Past and Present." 1989, revised 1991. Archives, Lane Library, Ripon College, Ripon, WI. Online (2006).

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Special Collections
Government Offices
Other: Ripon Historical Society

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