Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Jackson Hall

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Institution Name: Centenary College of Louisiana
Original/Historic Place Name: Main Building, Science Building
Location on Campus: Centenary Blvd.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1907original construction Unknown
1941restoration after severe tornado damage Unknown
1989renovation Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: concrete
Walls: brick
Roof: composition shingle
ca. 1907other (machine shop)
ca. 1907dining hall (and kitchen)
ca. 1907academic department building (science labs)
ca. 1907administration
ca. 1907auditorium
ca. 1907residence hall
1907-present (2007)faculty offices
1907-present (2007)classrooms
ca. 1925other (prep school)
ca. 2004-present (2007)academic department building (computer labs and language lab)

Significance: architecture, education, history
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Built in 1907, Jackson Hall was the first building to appear on the Shreveport campus of Centenary College. From 1825-1906, Centenary--known as College of Louisiana until 1846--was located in Jackson, Louisiana, and Jackson Hall was named in honor of that site. The west wing of the old college's dormitory still stands on the original college grounds, now a state park.

Jackson Hall was designed to represent the colonial Georgian style and capture the contrasting red brick and white stone colors of the original buildings on the old campus, and these external features have been preserved through its various renovations. The building has, in fact, undergone several renovations over the years, the latest occurring in 1989. In 1941, a tornado severely damaged the Hall--completely removing its roof-- and when the building was restored the fourth story was omitted. A grand entrance was added to the front, or south side, however. Jackson Hall remains an attractive structure, vital to the mission of the college.

The four story brick building has been home to virtually every form of collegiate operation over the years. For some period of time after the Arts and Sciences Building was constructed in 1925, Jackson Hall housed the Centenary Academy (prep school) along with the college business offices and dining hall. When the current library was built in 1963, the students celebrated the occasion by forming a book brigade that marched the library's contents from Jackson Hall to their new home. Currently the building houses classrooms and faculty offices for the departments of English, Foreign Languages, and Business. It has been equipped with the latest technology to serve as a language lab and audio-visual room, and it has two computer labs and remote satellite reception. Until fiber optic cable was installed in other buildings in 1999, Jackson Hall was both the oldest and most modern of campus structures. A small auditorium on the third floor has been the site where several contemporary authors and poets have addressed classes while visiting the campus: Elizabeth Spencer, Paul Auster, James Dicey, Allen Grinsberg, Ernest Gaines, Richard Wilbur, Anthony Hecht, and Eavan Boland.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Bryson, Helen R. "A History of Centenary College." M. A. thesis, Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, 1941.

Centenary College, The College of Louisiana. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1979.

East Feliciana Parish Records. Clinton and Jackson, LA.

Fay, Edwin W. The History of Education in Louisiana. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1898.

Nelson, William H. A Burning Torch and a Flaming Fire: The Story of Centenary College of Louisiana. Nashville, TN: Methodist Publishing, 1931.

Varnado, Otto W. "A History of the Early Institutions of Higher Learning in Louisiana." M. A. thesis, Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, 1927.

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

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