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Built in 1853, Ruter Hall was the second building constructed on Allegheny's campus. Ruter was named for Rev. Martin Ruter, the second president of the College (1833-1837) and the first after the Methodist re-founding. This fine example of Greek Revival architecture reflects the classical ideals that informed the college's founders. Money for the building was contributed by the citizens of Meadville and raised through the sale of a book of sermons, the final one by Ruter himself. The building's stark appearance earned it the epithet "the factory," but it is also admired for its subtle proportions, warm red brick, and restrained architectural details. The original exterior has been preserved, although the interior has been remodeled several times.
Although the College is now non-denominational, this building is reminiscent of a period when the College's affiliation with the Methodist Church was a close one. Many distinguished Methodist ministers were educated here, notably Bishop James M. Thoburn (class of 1857).