Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Arthur B. Pfleiderer Center for Religion and Humanities

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Institution Name: Heidelberg College
Original/Historic Place Name: Library
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1911-1912original construction Patton & Miller
1970renovation Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: rock-faced ashlar
Walls: brick; stone (facing)
Roof: terra cotta tile
ca. 2004-present (2007)faculty offices
ca. 2004-present (2007)classrooms
ca. 2004-present (2007)academic department building (religion and humanities)

Significance: architecture, education
Landmark designation:
National RegisterPfleiderer Center for Religion and the Humanities (1979)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

The Pfleiderer building was originally built as a library with a $25,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie's grant was unusual since he had already funded a library in Tiffin and rarely provided two libraries in the same town. He was persuaded to offer the grant by Dr. John H. Prugh, a Heidelberg alumnus who raised a matching $25,000. The building remained Heidelberg's campus library until the construction of the new Beeghly Library in 1967. It is presently used as an academic building, housing religion and humanities departments. The structure contains a rare book vault. It was the Fine Arts Building until 1970, when a gift by Dorothy Painter Pfleiderer, Class of 1922, made it possible to renovate the building as a center for religion and the humanities. It was renamed for her husband, Arthur B. Pfleiderer, Class of 1920, who was a trustee of the college from 1953-1969. The departments of religion, philosophy, and American Studies are housed here, along with some offices for German and English. Herbster Chapel is also located here (these departments are listed in the 1979 National Register report).

The front steps bear a memorial to Dr. Susan Reed, a popular, young faculty member from the mid 1990s who met with many students as she smoked on the steps. Dr. Reed was a campus fixture at the Pfleiderer steps until she died suddenly from cancer. The students and faculty contributed to her memorial.

Pfleiderer, Laird, and France Halls represent a third, early 20th century expansion of the Heidelberg Campus. The gothic style, grey stone facades and tile roofs are characteristic of these and several other buildings built on campus during the first quarter of the 20th Century.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Tarr, Blair, and Barbara Howe. Pfleiderer Center for Religion and the Humanities [Heidelberg College]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1979.

Williams, E. I. F. Heidelberg: Democratic Christian College, 1850-1950. Menasha, WI: George Banta Publishing Company, 1952.

II. Location of other data:
Government Offices

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