Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Center for Development Economics

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Institution Name: Williams College
Original/Historic Place Name: Delta Psi Fraternity House/ St. Anthony's Hall
Location on Campus: 1065 Main St.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1885-1886original construction White, Stanford McKim, Mead & White
1905-1906addition Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: concrete
Walls: wood (frame); stone (facing)
Roof: slate
ca. 1886other (social and meeting place)
ca. 1886dining hall (dining facilities)
ca. 1886residence hall (student housing)
ca. 1886Greek letter society
ca. 2004-present (2007)academic department building (Center for Development Economics)
ca. 2004-present (2007)residence hall (graduate student housing and social/meeting space)

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

Designed by the New York firm of McKim, Mead and White, one of the most important architectural firms of the nineteenth century, the Delta Psi house of 1884-1886 stands on the corner of Main and South Streets. The design of the house is eclectic: the Shingle Style porch on the left, a trademark of McKim, Mead and White, is linked to the Dutch-gabled right half by a Romanesque tower, which was topped by an Italianate cupola (until it was blown off in a hurricane in the 1930s). Indeed, the building incorporates features from a number of earlier houses designed by McKim, Mead and White. Whitney Stoddard, late professor of Art History, described the place of this building in the firm's development as follows: "White's work here is the final iteration of a style which had absorbed his efforts since his early decorative collaboration with H.H. Richardson a decade before on the Watts Sherman House (1874) in Newport. According to Stoddard in his Reflections on the Architecture of Williams College, this is one of the most distinguished buildings on the Williams campus.

The Delta Psi fraternity at Williams College, for whom the house was constructed, placed an addition to the south of original construction in 1905/6. For a short while, fires in 1926 and 1927 delayed a second southern addition to St. Anthony's Hall. This was the last of the fraternity houses to come to the college in their negotiations with the Greek letter societies. The structure is currently the home of The Center for Development Economics, one of two graduate programs at Williams.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Lewis, R. Cragin, ed. Williams 1793-1993: A Pictorial History. Williamstown, MA: Williams College Bicentennial Commission, 1993.

Rudolph, Frederick. Mark Hopkins and the Log: Williams College, 1836-1872. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1956.

Rudolph, Frederick. Mark Hopkins and the Log: Williams College, 1836-1872. Reprint, with an appendix by the author, "Williams College 1793-1993: Three Eras, Three Cultures," Williamstown, MA: Williams College, 1996.

Schuyler, Montgomery. "The Architecture of American Colleges VI. Dartmouth, Williams and Amherst." Architectural Record 28 (December 1910): 424-42.

Stoddard, Whitney. Reflections on the Architecture of Williams College. Williamstown, MA: Williams College, 2001: 199.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections

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