Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Devereux Hall

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Institution Name: St. Bonaventure University
Original/Historic Place Name: Devereux Hall
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1929original construction Oakley, Chester
ca. 1930expansion Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: concrete
Walls: brick
Roof: terra cotta tile
ca. 1932other (seminary)
ca. 1932chapel
ca. 1932dining hall
ca. 2004-present (2007)other (offices)
ca. 2004-present (2007)classrooms
ca. 2004-present (2007)residence hall

Significance: architecture
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Devereux Hall was built in 1929 as a dormitory for the growing college. After a catastrophic fire in 1930 destroyed most of the other college buildings, Devereux was immediately expanded to its present size to house the displaced population. The building was designed by noted Buffalo architect Chester Oakley, in a highly decorated brick style based upon Florentine architecture. The design incorporates a variety of unique terra cotta icons representing historical figures and the branches of education. Together with the surrounding buildings also designed by Oakley, the dormitory creates a unique environment that is a tangible link to the Italy of St. Francis and St. Bonaventure. A plaque in the building identifies the room once occupied by noted theologian and author Thomas Merton. The name of the building commemorates Nicholas Devereux, whose gift of land and other support led to the founding of St. Bonaventure College in 1858.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Angelo, Mark V. The History of St. Bonaventure University. St. Bonaventure: Franciscan Institute, 1961.

Cummings, Frank. "Devereux Hall." The Laurel [ca. 1927?].

Eaton, Betty. Chester Oakley: His Work on the St. Bonaventure University Campus. Term paper. Spring 1983. Archives, St. Bonaventure College, St. Bonaventure, NY.

Enright, L. V. "Architecture and Symbolism." The Laurel. [n.d.].

Herscher, Irenaeus, attr. "Description of Symbolism." Typescript. Archives, St. Bonaventure College, St. Bonaventure, NY.

Herscher, Irenaeus, attr. "Jewels in Our Crown: Welcome to the St. Bonaventure University Campus." Archives, St. Bonaventure College, St. Bonaventure, NY.

O'Neill, Megan. "Buildings of Saint Bonaventure." Online (2006). St. Bonaventure College, St. Bonaventure, NY.

Toland, R. J. "Devereux Hall." The Laurel 28 (1926): 386-89.

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

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