Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Ambrose Hall

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Institution Name: St. Ambrose University
Original/Historic Place Name: Ambrose Hall
Location on Campus: 518 W Locust St.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1885original construction Huot, Victor
1893expansion Unknown
1901expansion Unknown
1908expansion Unknown
1912expansion Unknown
1960exterior renovation Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: stone
Walls: brick
Roof: tar
1885-present (2007)old main
ca. 2004-present (2007)student union
ca. 2004-present (2007)chapel
ca. 2004-present (2007)dining hall
ca. 2004-present (2007)residence hall (students and faculty)
ca. 2004-present (2007)faculty offices
ca. 2004-present (2007)classrooms

Significance: education, history, religion
Landmark designation:
National RegisterAmbrose Hall (1977)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Built in stages from 1885 to 1912, the exterior of Ambrose Hall retains the character of the original architect's vision. It is an example of the application of the Second Empire style to the practicality of an academic building. Ambrose Hall is the "old main" of the campus and was the only campus building until 1922. In 1960 an exterior renovation significantly changed the mansard roof line of the center portion of the building, but the remainder of the building has been preserved.

The interior has been adapted many times over the history of the building. Its many uses have included classrooms, a library, faculty and administrative offices, a chapel, dining facilities, dormitory space, faculty residences, laboratories and a gymnasium. Moreover, the building faces Locust Street, a main east-west thoroughfare in Davenport, and therefore it is the image most casual observers have of St. Ambrose. Its central tower is often used as a logo for the university.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Dawson, William F., and George McDaniel. Ambrose Hall. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1977.

Farrell, Anthony G. Bees and Bur Oaks: 100 Years of St. Ambrose College. Davenport, IA: St. Ambrose College, 1982.

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

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