Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Graham Cottage Alumni House

Click on image titles for larger views.
Institution Name: Transylvania University
Original/Historic Place Name: Graham Cottage
Location on Campus: 469 N. Broadway
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1863original construction Unknown
1980smajor reconstruction Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: none specified
Walls: brick
Roof: none specified
1863-1905private residence
1905-1976president's house
1976-present (2007)alumni center (and training center for students in the hotel, restaurant and tourism administration program)

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

Described by noted architectural historian Clay Lancaster as an "interesting antiquity," Graham Cottage has long been a gracious presence on the campus of Transylvania University.

It currently functions as the ideal alumni house (for meetings and receptions), with historical ties linking it to Transylvania for almost 140 years. The house was built in 1863 for J. M. Hocker, the founder and first president of Hocker Female College, later known as Hamilton College, and once part of Transylvania University. In 1869, it became the home of Rev. Robert Graham, the first president of Hamilton College. Graham, who was also a carpenter and cabinetmaker, served as President of the College of Arts of Kentucky University (now Transylvania University) from 1866 to 1869, and from 1875 to 1895 as the second president of the College of the Bible at Kentucky University (the College of the Bible is now known as the Lexington Theological Seminary).

Transylvania bought Graham Cottage in 1905 and used it to house various presidents. In 1976, the University began using it as an alumni house, which continues to this day. Graham Cottage underwent major restoration and renovation in the 1980's.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Lancaster, Clay. Vestiges of the Venerable City: A Chronicle of Lexington, Kentucky. Lexington, KY: Lexington-Fayette Historical Commission, 1978.

Wright, John D. Transylvania, Tutor to the West. Rev. ed. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 1980.

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Special Collections, Unknown
—details: Archives: Robert C. Graham and Graham Cottage documents, Transylvania University.

Contact us / About Site / About CIC
© 2006
Council of Independent Colleges
One Dupont Circle, Ste. 320
Washington, DC
All rights reserved
Last update: November 2006