Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Ruter Hall

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Institution Name: Allegheny College
Original/Historic Place Name: Ruter Hall (occasionally misspelled as "Reuter" or "Ruyter")
Location on Campus: faces N. Main St. (east of Bentley Hall)
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1853original construction Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: local stone
Walls: local brick
Roof: wood (truss); asphalt shingle
ca. 1853other (cabinet)
ca. 1853library
ca. 1853classrooms (with laboratories)
ca. 1853chapel
ca. 2004-present (2007)academic department building (laboratories for modern and classical languages)
ca. 2004-present (2007)classrooms (modern and classical languages)
ca. 2004-present (2007)faculty offices (modern and classical languages)

Significance: education, history
Landmark designation:
National RegisterRuter Hall (1978)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

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).

I. Bibliographic sources:

Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann Associates. Deferred Maintenance and Building Renovation Cost Study [Allegheny College]. Report. [Pittsburgh, PA: Burt Hill Kosar Rittelmann Associates], 1999.

Celli Flynn Brennan. Campus Master Plan [Allegheny College]. [Pittsburgh, PA: Celli Flynn Brennan], 2002.

Davis, John P. Ruter Hall. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1978.

Deed Book H. Meadville, PA: Crawford County Court House, pp. 404-405.

Dober, Lidsky, Craig and Associates. Allegheny 2000. Master plan. [Belmont, MA: Dober, Lidsky, Craig and Associates], 1987.

Dober, Lidsky, Craig and Associates. Heart of the Campus Report [Allegheny College]. [Belmont, MA: Dober, Lidsky, Craig and Associates], 1987.

Helmreich, Jonathan E. Historic Campus Tour. Meadville, PA: Allegheny College, 2001.

Helmreich, Jonathan E. Through All the Years: A Browser's History of Allegheny College [working title for publication celebrating College Bicentennial]. Meadville, PA: Allegheny College, forthcoming.

"Old Allegheny." Allegheny College Bulletin (January 1922).

Rolland/Towers. Campus Master Plan [Allegheny College]. [New Haven, CT: Rolland/Towers], 1992.

Smith, Ernest Ashton. Allegheny College--A Century of Education. Meadville, PA: Tribune Publishing Company, 1916.

Stephens, D. M. Old Allegheny: A Handbook of Information. Meadville, PA: Allegheny College, 1921.

Stotz, Charles M. The Early Architecture of Western Pennsylvania. New York: William Helburn, Inc., for the Buhl Foundation, 1936.

Stotz, Charles M. The Early Architecture of Western Pennsylvania: A Record of Building Before 1860 Based upon the Western Pennsylvania Architectural Survey, A Project of the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Institute of Architects with an Introduction by Fiske Kimball; with a New Introduction by Dell Upton. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1995.

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Special Collections, Facilities Management Office
Government Offices

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