Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Hugh Snoddy Black Hall

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Institution Name: Wofford College
Original/Historic Place Name: Alumni Hall (dormitory); later, Wofford Fitting School; Archer Hall (until 1950s)
Location on Campus: Corner of N. Church St. and College Dr.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1888original construction Unknown
1901two upper floors destroyed by fire; January 17-18 Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: none specified
Walls: wood frame; red brick; white stucco (facing)
Roof: none specified
ca. 1888residence hall (for college students, then for students in the Wofford "fitting school")
ca. 2004-present (2007)administration
ca. 2004-present (2007)admissions office (and financial aid)

Significance: architecture, history
Landmark designation:
National RegisterWofford College Historic District (1974)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Wofford faculty members today commute from their own homes in the surrounding city, and most students live in college-owned housing on campus. The exact opposite was true in the college's early days. The all-male student body was practically on its own in the 19th century, usually taking rooms in nearby boarding houses. A few rental cottages were available in the neighborhoods north and west of college, and sometimes they were occupied by members of the various social fraternities.

As Spartanburg began to emerge as a railroad and textile center in the 1880s, local alumni became concerned about the expense and inconvenience faced by students in making such casual arrangements. At a called meeting in 1888, they launched the college's first capital campaign to build a stately, four-story dormitory facing North Church Street with its back to the historic district. In the end, most of the money was given by E.L. Archer, class of 1871, whose name eventually was placed on the building. The first new structure on campus since the original buildings of 1854, it was built in an attractive Romanesque style that was much utilized in Spartanburg at the time, though unfortunately most of the public buildings from that era have been demolished.

In the summer of 1895, the administration decided to move the expanding Wofford Fitting School to the campus, evicting the college resident students from Alumni Hall to accommodate the younger men. Although the upper floors were destroyed by fire in January 1901, Alumni Hall remains in use today. Now known as the Hugh S. Black building, it houses the offices of admissions and financial aid. It is harmoniously connected to the Neofytos D. Papadopoulos Building to the north.

I. Bibliographic sources:
II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections
Government Offices

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Last update: November 2006