Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Stewart Memorial Library

Click on image titles for larger views.
Institution Name: Coe College
Original/Historic Place Name: Stewart Memorial Library
Location on Campus: Center of main campus
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1930-1931original construction Graham, Ernest R. Graham, Anderson, Probst & White
1987-1989renovation; expansion Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: concrete; limestone (facing)
Walls: brick
Roof: wood with rubberized coating; gravel
ca. 1931faculty offices
1931-present (2007)library (with college archives)
1989-present (2007)other (academic computing)
ca. 1989-present (2007)museum (art)

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

The building of Stewart Memorial Library was made possible by a gift from Col. Robert W. Stewart in loving memory of his parents, William and Eliza Mills Stewart. Built in 1931, the building is a handsome example of Georgian revival architecture. Recent renovation has elements of piano nobile, a style popularized by the Italian Renaissance builder Andrea Palladio. The piano nobile style reserves the grand spaces of a building for the second floor, characterized here by the spacious Perrine gallery and the window treatments in the addition.

A major renovation and expansion of the building occurred in 1987-1989. The expanded facility can store 300,000 volumes, provides study seating for 420, and houses media and computing services. A significant component of the renovation was the inclusion of art galleries to display the College's Permanent Art Collection. Selections from the College's extensive art collection of approximately 500 works by 200 artists are displayed in four special galleries throughout the Stewart Memorial Library. On view are works by famed American regionalist painters Grant Wood and Marvin Cone (Coe class of 1914). Conger Metcalf (class of 1936) and other notable artists are also represented in the collection.

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.

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

Contact us / About Site / About CIC
© 2006
Council of Independent Colleges
One Dupont Circle, Ste. 320
Washington, DC
All rights reserved
Last update: November 2006