Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Centenary Gold Dome

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Institution Name: Centenary College of Louisiana
Original/Historic Place Name: Centenary Gold Dome
Location on Campus: Kings Highway
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1961original construction Unknown
2001renovation Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: concrete
Walls: brick
Roof: anodized aluminum (dome)
1961-2001faculty offices
1961-present (2007)museum (display of athletic memorabilia)
1961-present (2007)classrooms
1961-present (2007)stadium
1961-present (2007)gymnasium

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

Constructed in 1961, the Centenary Gold Dome presents unique design and distinctive color. The waffled roof, in the shape of a dome, covers the entire structure with the exception of a two story contemporary designed wing that borders its west side and contains athletic and faculty offices and classrooms. The original color of the domed roof was a yellowish gold but now has both faded and been refinished with more effective sealants against the weather, producing a light yellow shade. Yet, the original color yielded its name permanently to the site. Renovations, the latest in 2001, have preserved the original features in excellent condition, while updating the climate controls and sound systems and creating media and athletic booster rooms.

The Gold Dome (seating capacity 3500) is sometimes called "the house that Parrish built," referring to Centenary's famed basketball player of the 1960s, Robert Parrish, who distinguished himself during a lengthy NBA career, primarily with the Boston Celtics. Since its construction, the College has used it for multiple purposes other than varsity sports competitions or athletic activities. It has replaced the Open-Air Theatre for commencement ceremonies and special assemblies. Several distinguished visitors have spoken or performed within its walls: Ronald Reagan, Rosalyn Carter, Eudora Welty, Ross Perot, Michael DeBaky, Ray Bradbury, Barry Manilow, John Denver, and the Cox Family Singers, among others. Until the latest technology rendered the practice obsolete, the Gold Dome introduced the new academic year to students by convening them for arena registration on many occasions. For several decades it has been the annual convention site for Louisiana's United Methodist Conference. As with many athletic programs in the South, Centenary's varsity sports also contributed to the racial integration of the campus and community. Many area residents witnessed for the first time integrated varsity basketball games in the Centenary Gold Dome.

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

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