Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Herring-Cole Hall

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Institution Name: St. Lawrence University
Original/Historic Place Name: Herring Library, Cole Reading Room
Location on Campus: campus map #13
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1869-1871original construction (Herring) Huberty & Hudswell
1901-1902original construction (Cole) Smith, Joseph
1923stacks renovation Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Materials:
Foundation: stone
Walls: Potsdam sandstone
Roof: slate
 
    Function:
ca. 1871-1959library
ca. 1957-present (2007)other (archives)
ca. 2004-present (2007)other (lectures, receptions, and study area)

Significance: architecture, education, religion
Landmark designation:
National RegisterHerring-Cole Hall, St. Lawrence University (1974)
Narrative: see below
References: see below
 

Narrative:
Herring-Cole Hall stands on the old part of the St. Lawrence University campus to the west of Richardson Hall, midway down the tree-lined "college walk." At one time, it was balanced on the south side of the "college walk" by Fisher Hall (built in 1883 and burned in 1951). Herring-Cole Hall was built in two stages; its T-shaped plan is due to the attachment of the Cole Reading Room in 1902, built at right angles to the original Herring Library of 1869.

By 1869, a college library was badly needed, and in that year, Silas Herring, the maker of Champion safes in New York City, made a gift that covered the cost for the building. The architect, still unknown, chose to use local Potsdam sandstone to build in the so-called "Italian style" current in the mid-nineteenth century. As a result, Herring-Cole contrasts with the nearby Richardson Hall in almost every detail. Smaller in dimensions and yet fortress-like and monumental in character, Herring-Cole Hall appears to crouch defensively in the shadow of its elegant, tall, almost willowy neighbor on the top of the hill.

By 1899, Herring, which had been forced to become a repository for government documents, was overcrowded, poorly heated, and generally unsatisfactory. Edward Cole supplied the funds for the addition, which nearly doubled the size of the original structure. The New York firm of Huberty & Hudswell designed the lavish new reading room, a single lofty space surrounded by a gallery supported by Corinthian columns and paneled throughout in oak.

After the construction of the new Owen D. Young Library, Herring Cole Hall served several interim years as the home of the studio art department, until it was taken over by the University archives. It is gradually being restored to reflect its original beauty.
 

References:
I. Bibliographic sources:

Black, Malcolm S., ed. Sixty Years of Saint Lawrence. Canton, NY: St. Lawrence University, 1916.

Brooke, Cornelia E. Herring-Cole Hall, St. Lawrence University. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1974.

Malo, Paul. The Herring-Cole Library: A Report to St. Lawrence University. [Canton, NY: St. Lawrence University], 1968.

Pink, Louis H. and Rutherford E. Dalmadge, eds. A Candle in the Wilderness: A Centennial History of the St. Lawrence University. NY: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1957.

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Special Collections, Facilities Management Office, Unknown
—details: Archives, Owen D. Young Library, St. Lawrence University.
SHPO
Government Offices
 

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