Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Yenni Hall

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Institution Name: Spring Hill College
Original/Historic Place Name: Yenni Hall
Location on Campus: west of the Quadrangle
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1900original construction Unknown
1992restoration Chadsey, Fred Volkert, David
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: brick
Walls: brick; stucco (facing)
Roof: slate
ca. 1900dining hall
ca. 1900residence hall
ca. 1930classrooms (and labs)
ca. 1930academic department building (physics, chemistry and biology classrooms and labs)
1974-1992other (empty)
ca. 2004-present (2007)classrooms (lecture and seminar rooms)
ca. 2004-present (2007)faculty offices
ca. 2004-present (2007)academic department building (business)

Significance: culture, history, religion
Landmark designation:
National RegisterSpring Hill College Quadrangle (1973)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Named after Dominic Yenni, S.J., a Jesuit priest who had taught Latin and Greek for half a century and whose Latin and Greek grammars were used throughout the country, this multi-purpose building was constructed in 1900. The top floor was a dormitory for the small boys, and it contained dining areas and rooms to house visitors. In the 1930's it was renovated to become a hall for the sciences: physics, chemistry, and biology. After each of those were housed in separate buildings, Yenni Hall was closed in 1974 and remained so until 1992. At that time, it was completely restored under the direction of architects Fred Chadsey and David Volkert; in 1993, the restored building was honored with the Architectural Award of the Historic Mobile Preservation Society, Inc. Yenni Hall currently houses the Division of Business with faculty offices, lecture and conference rooms.

At the time of its construction, Yenni Hall's neo-classical design was likened to a Florentine palazzo. Built of locally-made brick, it was immediately covered with cream-colored stucco, the first building on the campus to have been done so. Subsequently, the 1869 Administration Building was similarly covered and eventually the whole quadrangle was stuccoed. Within recent years, new buildings, such as the just completed residence hall, Viragh Hall, have returned to the cream-colored stucco motif of Yenni Hall.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Boyle, Charles J., ed. Twice Remembered Moments in the History of Spring Hill College. Mobile, AL: Friends of the Spring Hill College Library, 1993.

Boyle, Charles J. A Pelican's Eye View: The History of the Spring Hill College Campus. Pictorial pamphlet. Mobile, AL: Spring Hill College, 1999.

Floyd, Katherine. Spring Hill College. Historic American Buildings Survey report and photographs. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/ National Park Service, 1936.

Floyd, W. Warner. Spring Hill College Quadrangle. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1973.

Kenny, Michael, Catholic Culture in Alabama (also published under the title The Torch on the Hill). New York: America Press, 1931.

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

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Last update: November 2006