Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Russell Sage Hall

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Institution Name: The Sage Colleges
Original/Historic Place Name: Russell Sage Hall
Location on Campus: Second St. and Congress St.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1895original construction Unknown
2002restoration Celli-Flynn Brennan Architects Vincent LePera
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: bluestone; concrete
Walls: wood (frame); lathe and plaster (interior); brick (exterior, bearing walls)
Roof: steel (trusses); asphalt shingle; copper (flashing); gypsum (deck)
ca. 1895-present (2007)residence hall (houses approximately 80 students)

Significance: architecture, education, history, landscape
Landmark designation:
National RegisterCentral Troy Historic District (1986)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Russell Sage Hall is sited on historic Sage Park, a public commons that forms an integrated public/private venue for both academic and community events and re-establishes the Historic District as a social and entertainment space. Sage Park is a half-acre public square donated by Dutch farmer Jacob Van Der Heyden to the trustees of Troy in 1796. It had been known as Seminary Park until 1917, one year after the founding of Russell Sage College.

Built by and named for industrialist Russell Sage, Sage Hall was completed in 1894 and became the primary student residence of the Troy Female Seminary, one of the country's first schools for women. Troy Female Seminary was renamed Emma Willard School in 1910 to honor its founder and relocated to its present campus on Pawling Avenue. Mr. Sage's wife (deceased 1867) and his second wife, Olivia Slocum Sage, who endowed Russell Sage College, were graduates of Emma Willard School. Mr. Sage served as Emma Willard trustee from 1896 to 1906. Sage Hall was dedicated in 1916 when Russell Sage College was founded and continues as a student residence. Sage Hall is an example of the best materials and workmanship used in the late 19th century.

The historic structure is made of buff, pressed brick with stone trimmings, and Belleville, New Jersey, sandstone. In addition to the four stories above a basement, the building includes an attic that was designed for servants' quarters. The interior and exterior of the building were restored in 2002 to modernize facilities and accomodate an elevator for accessibility.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Peckham, Mark, and Caroline King. Central Troy Historic District [The Sage Colleges]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1986.

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

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