Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Quinlan Hall

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Institution Name: Spring Hill College
Original/Historic Place Name: Quinlan Hall
Location on Campus: southwest of Quadrangle
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1898original construction; lower floor Unknown
1916original construction; upper floor Unknown
2003renovation Architects Group of Mobile
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: brick
Walls: brick
Roof: shingle
ca. 1898gymnasium (partly enclosed, partly open on the south side)
ca. 1916residence hall (private rooms with private baths, a new concept in its day)
ca. 1955-present (2007)classrooms
1998-present (2007)other (Division of Nursing)
ca. 2004-present (2007)faculty offices

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

Quinlan Hall has a long and varied history. The ground floor was built in 1898 as a large, well-equipped gymnasium. One section was built with open arches supported by five massive Doric columns. This provided a covered but partially open space for such activities as high-jumping. The other section was walled in and housed a gymnasium with vaulting horses, rings, and parallel bars. The second floor was added in 1916 as a new concept in college housing: private rooms each with its own private bath. In 1955 the upper floor was converted into classrooms. The lower floor remained a gym but the arches were boarded up.

The lower floor was converted in 1997-1998 into accommodations for the Division of Nursing. In 2003 the upper floor was handsomely redone to provide offices for the Division of Social Sciences and classrooms. On the lower level the arches were opened up and fitted with plate glass, and a mezzanine floor was added, providing additional classrooms, many of which contain the handsome glassed-in arches. The Architects Group of Mobile designed and supervised the renovations, and the result is a handsome, original building which overlooks on the south side a baseball diamond which may be the oldest in the country still in use.

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.

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

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