Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Dewey Hall

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Institution Name: Smith College
Original/Historic Place Name: Judge Charles A. Dewey House
Location on Campus: 4 Neilson Dr.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1827original construction Pratt, Thomas
1875relocation Unknown
1896relocation Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: stone
Walls: stone; brick
Roof: slate
ca. 1827-1871private residence (of Judge Charles A. Dewey)
ca. 1871-1990residence hall
ca. 1990-present (2007)faculty offices (including small meeting room)
ca. 1990-present (2007)classrooms

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

Dewey Hall is significant because it is the building that housed the first class of women who attended Smith College. Purchased in 1871 from the Judge Charles A. Dewey family, its original location was beside College Hall, facing Elm Street. It was moved to the current site of Seelye Hall in 1875 when the College built Gateway House, the presidential residence of L. Clark Seelye, first president of the College. Dewey House was again moved in 1896 to its current location as a consequence of the construction of Seeley Hall. Since that time, it has remained a vital part of College life, as a student residence, as a location for many dramatic productions, and as a place for teas, faculty lunches, and parties. Today, Dewey is a multi-purpose building, housing faculty offices, small classrooms, and a small meeting room. Its Ionic columns calls to Smith students from all around campus, and it attracts groups of students who sit or casually sun themselves on its wide porch.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Hamlin, Talbot. Greek Revival Architecture in America. London: Oxford University Press, 1944.

The Historical Handbook of Smith College. Northampton, MA: Smith College, 1932.

Horowitz, Helen Lefkowitz. Alma Mater: Design and Experience in the Women's Colleges from their Nineteenth-Century Beginnings to the 1930s. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984.

Lincoln, Eleanor Terry, and John Abel Pinto. This, the House We Live In: Smith College Campus from 1872-1982. Northampton, MA: Trustees of Smith College, 1983.

Schuyler, Montgomery. "The Architecture of American Colleges: X. Three Women's Colleges: Vassar, Wellesley & Smith." Architectural Record 31 (May 1912): 513-37.

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

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