Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Main Building

Click on image titles for larger views.
Institution Name: Rosemont College
Original/Historic Place Name: Rathalla
Location on Campus: 1400 Montgomery Ave.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1891original construction Hazelhurst & Huckel
2000restoration Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: none specified
Walls: gray stone; limestone (trim)
Roof: none specified
1891-1921private residence (Joseph Francis Sinnott family)
ca. 1921chapel
ca. 1921dining hall
ca. 1921classrooms
1921-1925residence hall
ca. 2004-present (2007)other (social functions of college)
ca. 2004-present (2007)administration

Significance: architecture, education
Landmark designation:
National RegisterJoseph Sinnott Mansion (1980)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Rathalla was built in 1891 as a Main line country house for the family of Joseph Francis Sinnott, a prominent Philadelphia merchant. The architects, Hazelhurst & Huckel, were influenced by the work of Richard Morris Hunt. Rathalla was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 29, 1980. The building was restored in the year 2000, and the work received various awards.

Rosemont College of the Holy Child Jesus was established on August 21, 1921 as a Catholic Women's College by the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus (SHCJ), with the encouragement of Rev. Fr. Thomas J. Gasson, S.J. and Dennis Cardinal Dougherty, Archbishop of Philadelphia. Rosemont is the only college run in the U.S. by the SHCJ. Cornelia Connelly, a native Philadelphian, founded the Society of the Holy Child Jesus, in England.

Today, the college educates students from across the globe and serves students from all walks of life. The college is made up of three schools: the Women's Undergraduate School and the co-educational School of Continuing Education and Graduate School.

When the college opened in 1921, Main Building (Rathalla) served as classroom, dormitory, library, chapel, and dining room. In addition, it was the home for the SHCJ. Today, in addition to Main Building, there are eleven buildings on campus. Gently rolling hillsides have been retained, and maintenance of the grounds has always been a top priority. It most certainly plays a part in a prospective student's decision to come to Rosemont College.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Kelly, Sister Maria Stella, and Brenda Reigle. Joseph Sinnott Mansion [Rosemont College]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/ National Park Service, 1980.

Main Building, Rosemont College. Booklet. Second ed.. Rosemont, PA: Rosemount College, 2003.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections
Government Offices

Contact us / About Site / About CIC
© 2006
Council of Independent Colleges
One Dupont Circle, Ste. 320
Washington, DC
All rights reserved
Last update: November 2006