Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Chase Hall

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Institution Name: Wilkes University
Original/Historic Place Name: Residence of Fred M. Chase
Location on Campus: 184 S. River St.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1916-1918original construction Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: stone
Walls: brick
Roof: ceramic shingle
1918-1937private residence
1937-present (2007)administration
1937-present (2007)admissions office
1937-present (2007)classrooms

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

Chase Hall was built at approximately the same time as Weckesser Hall and was another second-generation home, built from 1917-1918 on the site of two smaller homes which had been demolished. It was the residence of Frederick M. Chase, president of the Lehigh Valley Coal Company. Following his death, the house passed into the hands of the Stark family, related to the Chases through marriage, and was given to Bucknell University Junior College in 1937 by Admiral Harold Stark, Chief of Naval Operations in World War II. He donated the house in memorial to his sister, Mrs. Frederick Chase, and her husband.

As the first building acquired by Wilkes University, Chase Hall has served various purposes over the past six decades. It was initially home to the dining hall, and the language and education departments. The original garage on the property was converted to a small, 90-seat theater. Known as the Chase Theater, it was the venue for numerous one-act plays until 1965, when the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center for the Performing Arts made it obsolete. The building is currently used to house the admissions office.

Architecturally, the building is representative of the Tudor revival style of the early twentieth century, and stands in sharp contrast to the massive structure of Weckesser Hall, which was constructed at the same time.

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.

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

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