Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Case Hall

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Institution Name: Baker University
Original/Historic Place Name: Case Memorial Library
Location on Campus: west side of campus
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1904-1907original design Gaddis, J. W.
1969remodeled Bauer, William
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: limestone
Walls: local blue limestone
Roof: composition
ca. 1907library
ca. 2004-present (2007)academic department building (psychology, education, and offices for English and foreign language departments)

Significance: architecture, culture, education, history, religion
Landmark designation:
National RegisterCase Library (1986)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Andrew Carnegie gave $25,000 to help build Case Memorial Library, a building redesigned by a brilliant young professor, William Bauer. Built before electricity, Bauer designed glass walkways that allowed light to be directed back into the stacks. Dr. Bauer also first wired Baldwin City for electricity, but his project became stalled when he wired the sewing machine of the president's wife. Soon, the women of the town clamored at his door for the same service.

Case, the fifth building constructed by the university, is a two-story, neo-classical limestone structure located on the southwest corner of the Baker campus, between Collins Library on the north and Constant Hall to the south. This structure maintains a high degree of external integrity but has been significantly altered inside. Before the extensive interior alterations in 1969, the now-partitioned first floor of Case Library housed two open reading rooms, the Librarian's office, and the president's office. Recitation and seminar rooms were located on the second and basement floors. The four-story, steel-shelved and glass-floored stack room in the northeast portion of the building (which provided space for 50,000 volumes) has been reduced by two levels, with classrooms and enclosed staircases filling the space on the first and second floors. Steam heating and electrical systems were installed during the original construction period.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Ebright, Homer Kingsley. The History of Baker University. Baldwin, KS: [Baker University], 1951.

Hall, Charles L., and Richard D. Pankratz. Old Castle Hall [Baker University]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1971.

II. Location of other data:
University: Library
Government Offices
Other: Baker U. Archives in Collins Library, Baker U.

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Last update: November 2006