Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Villa Maria Hall

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Institution Name: Immaculata University
Original/Historic Place Name: Villa Maria Hall
Location on Campus: 1145 Kings Rd.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1914original construction Ballinger, Walter F. Perrot, Emile G. Ballinger & Perrot
2000renovation Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: gray granite; limestone
Walls: gray granite; limestone; marble (columns inside rotunda)
Roof: red clay tiles
ca. 1914administration
ca. 1914residence hall
ca. 1914other (pool)
ca. 1914dining hall
ca. 1914classrooms
pre-- 1920other (Villa Maria Academy)
ca. present (2007)residence hall (third floor)
ca. present (2007)other (offices)

Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Villa Maria Hall is the central building of the Immaculata University campus. It originally housed a private academy until 1920 when the doors of Villa Maria College opened. This academy was founded by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and this edifice is a tribute to the college's founders. The building was designed by the Philadelphia architectural and engineering firm, Ballinger & Perrot (formed by Walter F. Ballinger and Emile G. Perrot), which produced several works in the realm of industrial architecture and workers' housing as well as churches, schools, and commercial structures.

Villa Maria Hall was built on a hill that was strategically positioned between Harrisburg and Philadelphia. During the Revolutionary War, Continental troops held their position during a skirmish known as "the Battle of the Clouds." A historical marker, commemorating the event on September 16, 1777, stands in front of Villa Maria Hall.

The building has been repaired and updated over the course of its existence. In 2000, the building went through a major renovation with the addition of air conditioning, new heating units, and sprinkler systems, and providing for internet access and improved communications technology. Major refurbishment also occured in offices, dorm rooms and bathrooms. These extensive changes and renovations are virtually unnoticeable to visitors, since great efforts were made to respect the fabric of the building.

Currently, Villa Maria Hall houses on the first and second floor and terrace level the President's Office and offices for the Vice Presidents for Academic Affairs, Finance and Administration, Institutional Advancement, Student Affairs, the Business Office, Registrar, and Human Resources. On the third floor is a residence hall.

Many traditions related to this building have transpired in the course of its history. The Villa Maria Rotunda is the site of university events such as Carol Night, Ring Ceremony, Pinning Ceremony, Homecoming, and other special events throughout the year. The impressive architecture and engineering of the rotunda lends itself to many collegiate events and provides a beautiful centerpiece to the university's campus.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Master Plan [Immaculata University]. 2003. Public Relations Office, Immaculata University, Immaculata, PA.

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Special Collections, Facilities Management Office, Unknown
—details: Public relations office, Immaculata University.

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Last update: November 2006