Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Sampson Hall

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Institution Name: Stetson University
Original/Historic Place Name: Carnegie Library
Location on Campus: 132 E. Minnesota Ave.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1908original construction Klutho, Henry John
1929south wing Unknown
1989restoration Unknown
2000restoration Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: continuous brick
Walls: masonry brick
Roof: composition shingle
ca. 1908Greek letter society (space used by women's fraternities)
ca. 1908other (space used by YMCA and YWCA)
ca. 1908student union (space used by two literary societies)
ca. 1908-1964library
ca. 2004-present (2007)other (language laboratory)
ca. 2004-present (2007)museum (art gallery)
ca. 2004-present (2007)faculty offices
ca. 2004-present (2007)classrooms

Significance: architecture, education, history
Landmark designation:
National RegisterStetson University Campus Historic District (1991)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Built in 1908 at a cost of $40,000, Sampson Hall was financed by steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, with a matching gift of $40,000 from Mrs. John B. Stetson for endowment. Designed by Henry John Klutho, the first Floridian to earn membership in the American Institute of Architects, it shows the conservative Neoclassicism found in many Carnegie libraries across the United States. It was later renamed Sampson Hall to honor C.T. Sampson, a university trustee, who had contributed over the years to Stetson's library fund and left an additional $20,000 for a library endowment when he died in 1893. Stetson was the first university in Florida to employ a full-time librarian.

A frieze just below the roof all around the building features the names of famous authors and political leaders, with the motto "Education is Power" in stamped metal centered over the four classical Ionic columns marking the entrance. The two-story brick landmark is one of the few Klutho buildings remaining in Florida, making it a significant part of Florida's architectural heritage.

Inside, the Duncan Gallery of Art, named for former president and chancellor emeritus Pope Duncan and his wife Margaret, offers 2,000 square feet of space with soaring 16-foot ceilings and graceful interior columns. It serves the area cultural community with several diverse art exhibitions each year, from well-known artists' exhibitions to student shows.

Sampson Hall was restored in 1989 and 2000 and is in excellent condition.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Johnston, Sidney. "The Historic Stetson University Campus in DeLand, 1884-1934." Florida Historical Quarterly (January 1992): 281-304.

Lycan, Gilbert L. Stetson University: The First Hundred Years. DeLand, FL: Stetson University Press, 1983.

Shiver, W. Carl. Stetson University Campus Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1991.

A Walk with the Founders: Stetson University Campus Historic District. Booklet. [DeLand, FL: Stetson University/Public Relations Office], 1996.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections
Government Offices
Other: Office of Marketing and Communications, Stetson U.

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