Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


McDowell Columns

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Institution Name: Chowan University
Original/Historic Place Name: The Columns
Location on Campus: 1 University Place
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1851-1852original construction; Aug. 1851 - Nov. 1852 Jones, Albert G.
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: brick
Walls: brick; plaster
Roof: wood shingles (original); tin (current)
ca. 1852residence hall
1852-1943old main
1949-present (2007)administration
1949-present (2007)old main

Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

With its stately double-height Doric columns and topped by an octagonal cupola, McDowell Columns is a central landmark of and for Chowan University. Built in 1852 for the Chowan Baptist Female Institute, the McDowell Columns housed students and also served as the administrative center of the school. Although it no longer serves the function of student housing, it continues to be utilized for the university's administration. It has been a beacon of education and culture for more than a century.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Stephenson, Frank. Chowan College. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2004.

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

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