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Stetson University's second building, Stetson Hall, was built in 1886 at a cost of about $12,000, with John B. Stetson as the major donor, to give boarding students a place to live while attending the university. Built in the Second Empire style, similar to DeLand Hall, it contained living quarters for the first president, Dr. John F. Forbes and his family, a dining hall, and rooms on the second and third floors for students and teachers. A wall divided the halls for separate use by men and women. Twin stairways served the upper floors.
Stetson Hall has been extensively altered since it was built. Only the southwest corner of the current building is the original Stetson Hall. A 1946 masonry expansion and renovation tripled its size, but unfortunately removed Folk Victorian balconies and a pavilion that defined its entrance. In 1986 it was renovated again, at a cost of $840,000, with vinyl siding added to both the older wooden wing and the newer masonry sections. White paint was also removed from the third-floor section of the mansard roof, and the vertical shingles were stained a natural color. Some distinctive Second Empire elements remain, including the mansard roof, pierced by numerous gable dormers with double-hung sash windows, and molded cornices. The vertical portion of the roof has patterned wood shingles.
Stetson Hall is in good condition.