Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Archer Hall

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Institution Name: Greenville College
Original/Historic Place Name: W.A. Allen House; Keith House
Location on Campus: 210 N. First St.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1867original construction Unknown
n.d.addition Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: brick; stone
Walls: brick
Roof: Duralast
ca. 1867private residence
ca. 2004-present (2007)other (student publications)
ca. 2004-present (2007)classrooms (art studios)
ca. 2004-present (2007)alumni center (Alumni Relations)

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

Dr. William A. Allen (1830-1891) was a well-known and respected physician in Bond County. In 1860 he married Millicent V. Blanchard, daughter of Seth Blanchard, a well-to-do pioneer settler in the Greenville area who had once held land on the site where the old St. Louis Court House now stands. The Blanchards were very interested in maintaining a cultural heritage in Greenville, and probably would not even be relevant to this story but for one interesting detail: Millicent Allen's sister, Almira Blanchard Morse, backed her husband Stephen Morse financially in the founding of a college for girls in 1892 named Almira College. Almira College in due course was purchased by the Free Methodist Church and became Greenville College. Bricks used to build the Allen House were made at a brick foundry on the campus of Almira College. The same foundry provided the bricks for Hogue Hall.

The three-story building was constructed of red brick. The walls were built 14 inches thick to act as insulation--an inner brick wall with a two-inch air space and an outer wall of double brick thickness. Bay windows project from one side of the façade, and a hip roof, with overhanging eaves and decorated with large wooden brackets under the eaves, covers the building. Bricks set out from the face of the building, called quoins, run vertically from top to bottom at the corners of the façade and on either side of the front entrance.

In 1927 the house was sold to Dr. Keith (hence "Keith Building"), who extensively remodeled the building into apartments and office space for himself. The exterior of the building was substantially changed in character when Dr. Keith removed the portico and added iron balconies and a wing to the rear of the house, moving the main entrance, a Palladian-style door, to the west side in the new wing. Greenville College bought the building in 1960.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Wilson, Kathryn Eleanor. Tales, Trails & Breadcrumbs, 1838-1938, One-Hundred Years, Bond County, Illinois. Greenville, IL: Naco Printing, 1993.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections

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