Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Stover Theatre

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Institution Name: Stetson University
Original/Historic Place Name: Assembly Hall
Location on Campus: 535 N. Florida Ave.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1930original construction Unknown
1992renovation Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: continuous poured concrete
Walls: masonry brick
Roof: composition shingle
ca. 1930-present (2007)theater (for performing arts)

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

A masonry vernacular one-and-a-half-story building, Stover Theatre is home to the oldest collegiate theatrical company in the south. Originally called Assembly Hall, because Florida churchmen complained about Stetson's building of a "theatre," it was renamed Stover Theatre in 1938 to honor Irving Stover, Stetson professor of speech since 1908.

Seating about 350, it was the first theatre built just for dramatics at a Florida university. In 1991, it failed a fire inspection and Stetson completely renovated it in 1992, including the wiring, and reduced its seats to about 300. The interior has a Mediterranean influence in the lobby, seating area, gallery and small balcony. The exterior features a gable roof, marquee, diamond pane double-hung sash windows and French entry doors. It is in good 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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