Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Voorhees Hall

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Institution Name: Coe College
Original/Historic Place Name: Voorhees Quadrangle
Location on Campus: gateway to East Campus
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1914-1918original construction Tilton, Edward L.
2000major interior renovation Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: concrete
Walls: brick; limestone
Roof: wood; rubberized membrane
1918-present (2007)residence hall
ca. 2004-present (2007)administration

Significance: culture, history
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

The Voorhees Quadrangle, a gift of Mrs. Elizabeth R. Voorhees of Clinton, New Jersey, was completed in the fall of 1917. It was the center of social life on campus. Voorhees maintained the atmosphere of a refined and cultured home. Certain residence customs that promoted regularity of habit with definite hours for studying, sleeping, visiting, and Sunday observances were fostered in the home.

It was one of the most attractive structures on campus, four stories high, L-shaped, including a central commons, with residence halls on each side. The building accommodated one-hundred and seventy young women. It was fire proof and modern in every respect. The commons contained the dining room on the ground level, and a reception hall with parlors was located above.

The third floor of the east wing, isolated from the rest of the building, was an infirmary. Special care was given to the health of women on campus. A swimming pool, laundry, and kitchenette in the west wing added to the comforts of the Voorhees women.

In the summer of 2000, Voorhees Hall received a much-needed renovation. Bathrooms were updated; air conditioning was installed; the lobby was redecorated; and an elevator was added to make Voorhees handicapped accessible. Virtually every system and surface inside the old hall was improved and updated.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Douma, Grace Hartzell. Coe Courier, Centennial Edition. Cedar Rapids, IA: Coe College, 1951.

Henry, George T. Coe College: A Sesquicentennial Look Through 50 Years of George Henry Photography. Cedar Rapids, IA: WDG Communications, 2000.

Henry, George T. Photographs of Coe College Campus and Buildings. Stewart Memorial Library Archives, Coe College, Cedar Rapids, IA.

Knox College. Memorials in American Colleges. Galesburg, IL: Knox College, [1930?]

Larson, Jens Frederick and Archie MacInnes Palmer. Architectural Planning of the American College. New York and London: McGraw-Hill, 1933.

Laugen, Jack, and Florence Winkler. Coe at 125. Cedar Rapids, IA: Coe College Development Office, 1976.

Voorhees, Oscar M. Ralph and Elizabeth Rodman Voorhees: A Tribute. New York: Tribute Press, 1927.

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

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