Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Eisenhower House

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Institution Name: Gettysburg College
Original/Historic Place Name: Stahley
Location on Campus: 300 Carlisle St.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1915-1916original construction Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: none specified
Walls: dark red brick
Roof: slate
1916-1951private residence
1951-1961president's house
1961-1969other (office of former President Eisenhower)
1969-present (2007)admissions office

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

The Eisenhower House, so known because it served as the office of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower from 1961 until his death in 1969, was initially known as the Stahley House. In 1914 Professor George D. Stahley proposed that he and his wife build a house on campus at the corner of W. Stevens and Carlisle Streets, where they would live until both had died, at which time the house would become the property of the college. The college's trustees accepted this offer and the house was erected in 1915-1916 at a cost of $8,000. According to this agreement, the college took possession of the house after Mrs. Stahley's death in 1951, and thereafter it served as the residence of the next two college presidents.

Upon President Eisenhower's retirement in 1961, the federal government leased the house for his office, and the college trustees elected him to membership on the board. Here he wrote his two volume memoir and his popular autobiography, At Ease. After Eisenhower's death the building was officially named in his honor and was used by the college Admissions Office. In 1989 the building was extended to the north and the west. Immediately to the north of the building stands a statue of Eisenhower, placed there in 1970. The sculpture is the work of Professor Norman Annis, then a member of the college's art department.

The Eisenhower House was built in the Colonial Revival style popular from the 1880s until WWII, though its appeal continues among many homebuilders. Colonial revival implies a rebirth of interest in the early colonial buildings along the Atlantic seaboard and the more sophisticated Georgian designs of the 18th century. Like many buildings of this style, the Eisenhower House is a two-story, side-gabled structure, focusing decorative detail chiefly at its front door, which is flanked by sidelights and has a fanlight above. It is of dark red brick construction with a slate roof.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Glatfelter, Charles H. A Saluatry Influence: Gettysburg College, 1832-1985. Gettysburg, PA: Gettysburg College, 1987.

Perret, Geoffrey. Eisenhower. New York: Random House, 1999, 602-03.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections

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