Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


McClintock Hall

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Institution Name: Wilkes University
Original/Historic Place Name: Residence of Andrew Todd McClintock
Location on Campus: 44 S. River St.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1841original construction Unknown
1863alterations Withers, Frederick Vaux, Calvert Vaux & Withers
1901remodeled Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: brick
Walls: local brick; imported Philadelphia brick (facade)
Roof: slate (original); asphalt shingle (current)
ca. 1841-1950private residence
ca. 1950-present (2007)residence hall

Significance: architecture, culture, history
Landmark designation:
National RegisterMcClintock Hall (1972)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

McClintock Hall was one of a group of nineteenth-century homes built by the financial and industrial elite of Wilkes-Barre and situated along the waterfront of the north branch of the Susquehanna River. The collection of mansions along the river was unusual, occupying an area normally associated with industry and commerce, and was a result of the location of the North Branch Canal several blocks inland. The mansions in this narrow three-block strip belonged to the entrepreneurs leading the development of the anthracite coal industry in the region, which played an important role in the industrial revolution.

This handsome Greek revival house was built ca. 1841 by Andrew T. McClintock, a prominent lawyer in Wilkes-Barre whose family members were leaders in the legal community of the region for more than a century. In about 1863, the building was renovated by the New York firm of Vaux & Withers. In 1901, a library replaced the original arboretum, and sometime in the late nineteenth century, a cellar was excavated to install a furnace. Despite extensive renovations by succeeding generations of the McClintock family, the original design remains strong.

The building was given to Wilkes University in 1950 and since then has been used as a student residence hall.

From National Register report:

McClintock Hall is a two and one-half story brick structure with various styles predominating. The front or main portion is Greek Revival having three bays across with six-over-six sashes. The present entrance is a few feet in front of the original, forming a vestibule wing one story high. Two bays on the north side of the front are recessed with a small open porch supported by two brick arches. The windows of this part are six-over-twelve sashes, being full length windows. Above this porch is a room flush with the first having two large windows with fan lights. The roof has Victorian period dormers. A two-story wing with six-over-six sashes projects to the rear. On the south side of the back a Victorian one-room one-floor wing contains the library.

The interior features a handsome Greek revival hallway and stairway. The rooms on the south are Victorianized with marble fireplaces and gilt mirrors. However, the remaining woodwork in these two rooms is Greek revival. The first floor northwest room has an elaborately carved wooden mantle finished to resemble stone. The woodwork throughout the main portion of the house is simple but large in scale. The door moldings are wide and plain leading up to a plain entabulature. The stairways, both main and back, have handsome balustrades of early nineteenth-century design. The library, added to the southeast side, is a Victorian room with Gothic touches prevailing. The paneling in the library, the mantle, bookcases, and probably the vaulted ceiling, are walnut. A stained glass skylight is in the ceiling of this room.

The house was originally a two and one-half story Greek revival house with three bays across to the north side. The house featured a one and one-half story, two-bay-wide wing set slightly back from the front. About 1863, the house was renovated and took on nearly its present appearance.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Andrews, Ronald L. "An Inventory of Historical Landmarks on the Campus of Wilkes College, Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania." Typescript. July 1975. Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Andrews, Ronald L. Historic Sites Survey of Wilkes-Barre: Final Report. Wilkes-Barre, PA: Wyoming Historical and Geological Society, 1979.

Cox, Harold E. The Wilkes University Historical Atlas. Wilkes-Barre, PA: Wilkes University Press, 1997.

Pennsylvania Register of Historic Sites and Landmarks. McClintock Hall [Wilkes University]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1972.

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

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