Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Durfee House

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Institution Name: Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Original/Historic Place Name: Durfee House
Location on Campus: 639 S. Main St.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
pre- 1831original construction Unknown
1831relocation to present site Unknown
1844expansion Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: stone
Walls: none specified
Roof: asphalt shingle
1844-1885president's house
1885-1929private residence (William Pitt Durfee)
ca. 2004-present (2007)admissions office

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

Durfee House was originally a land speculator's office. The house was moved in 1831 to its present site and enlarged by President Benjamin Hale in 1844 for use as his residence, and it was occupied by subsequent presidents until 1885. It is the earliest connection to Geneva on campus and is considered to be the earliest standing frame building west of Rome, New York. It later became the home of William Pitt Durfee, first Dean of Hobart and professor of mathematics from 1884-1929. Both W.P. Durfee and his son W. H. Durfee served as interim presidents during their long tenures at the College.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Smith, Warren Hunting. Hobart and William Smith: The History of Two Colleges. Geneva, NY: Hobart and illiam Smith Colleges, 1972.

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

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