Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Charles City College Hall

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Institution Name: Morningside College
Original/Historic Place Name: College of Technology; Old Main; North Hall, Conservatory of Music
Location on Campus: 3630 Peters Ave.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1890original construction Brown, Charles P.
1915rebuilt after explosion and fire Beuttler & Arnold
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: quartzite stone
Walls: quartzite stone
Roof: slate (original); red clay rounded tiles (current)
1890classrooms (recitation rooms)
1890dining hall
1890residence hall
ca. 1900-1966other (music conservatory)
ca. 1966- present (2007)theater
present (2007)academic department building (religion, philosophy, history and political science)

Landmark designation:
National RegisterMorningside College Historic District (1997)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

The only instructional building completed before 1900 in the Morningside College Historical District, Charles City College Hall was originally identified as the College of Technology. Successively renamed Old Main, North Hall, and the Conservatory of Music, it finally became Charles City College Hall in 1958 when Morningside College merged with the German Methodist college of that name. The building was gutted in a 1914 explosion and fire; rebuilding quickly followed, with the walls being extended upward four feet, and the original bell tower, dormers, and slate roof not being replaced. Subsequent renovations have removed most interior details, though the interior hallway configuration is still the same.

This building is significant in that it was the first building on what is now the campus of Morningside College. It initially contained nearly all the college functions, a dramatically different arrangement than in places of higher education today. As the college changed, the building evolved and remained an important element of the campus.

The initial architect was Charles P. Brown, known from a number of buildings of similar design still admired in Sioux City today. The builder was J.M. Poorbaugh, who touted the strength of quartzite stone as a building material. The cost of the original construction was $35,000.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Orwig, Timothy T. Morningside College: A Centennial History. Sioux City, IA: Morningside College Press, 1994.

Orwig, Timothy T. Morningside College Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1997.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections
Government Offices
Other: Sioux City Public Museum Archives and Research Center

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Last update: November 2006