Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Ohio River Biological Field Station

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Institution Name: Thomas More College
Original/Historic Place Name: U.S. Lock and Dam #35
Location on Campus: Mile 450/Rt. 8, New Richmond Station, California, KY 41007
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1920soriginal construction Unknown
1996renovation Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: cement
Walls: brick
Roof: clay tile
ca. 1920other (U.S. lock and dam)
ca. 1920residence hall (dormitory for dam workers)
1971-present (2007)other (laboratory, seminar and workshop space)
1971-present (2007)residence hall (dormitory for professors)

Significance: architecture, education, history
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Constructed in the 1920's as one of the federal government's 51 Lock and Dam facilities, the property includes a massive lockhouse, eight homes that once housed the lock and dam workers, a workshed, and a seven-car garage. The college first acquired the property in 1967 for use as a research facility, renaming it the Ohio River Biological Field Station. Since 1971, the former lockhouse has served the college as a classroom, laboratory and workshop space. In 1996, the structure underwent a million dollar renovation to expand the seminar and laboratory spaces, adding wet labs in which water can be pumped directly from the river for study. The Field Station's location near the midpoint of the Ohio River has proved to be a particularly valuable setting for aquatic biology field research.

The former lockhouse is an imposing symmetrical structure with a clay tile roof, echoing the classical Mediterranean architecture being built on the Panama Canal during the same time period. The houses, which are currently not in use, feature a Bungalow style. These styles were typical of all lock and dam facilities built by the federal government in the early twentieth century.

I. Bibliographic sources:

None specified.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections

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