Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Brodbeck Music Hall

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Institution Name: Hood College
Original/Historic Place Name: College Hall
Location on Campus: main campus
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1868original construction Unknown
1915renovation Unknown
1919renovation Unknown
1922cupola; ell addition Unknown
1960structural reinforcement with steel beams Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: cement; dirt floor (basement)
Walls: brick
Roof: standing-seam metal (some painted); slate
ca. 1868other (community center for early German settlers)
ca. 2004-present (2007)auditorium
ca. 2004-present (2007)academic department building (music)

Significance: architecture, culture, education
Landmark designation:
National RegisterHood College District (boundary increase) (1988)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Brodbeck Music Hall was the only building on the property now known as Hood College when the land was given to the Women's College of Frederick by Margaret Scholl Hood, for whom the college is named. Built in 1868 as a tavern for German settlers, the building served as a florist shop, a farmer's home, and a warehouse before it was purchased by the college. In its early years, the building was a residence for faculty, staff, and students. It was also the only building with an auditorium, providing a site for lectures, class meetings, song competitions, chapel services, concerts, campus vespers, commencements, funerals, and weddings.

A renovation in 1922 enlarged the north wing into a music hall, and in 1923 the building was renamed in honor of Andrew R. Brodbeck, who, in addition to serving in the U.S. House of Representatives (1912-1914 and 1916-1918), also served as president of the Hood College Board of Trustees. His two daughters, both Hood graduates, were music lovers who encouraged their father's interest in the college's music program.

Brodbeck is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 1999 was designated an official project of Save America's Treasures, a public-private partnership between the White House Millennium Council and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. While structurally sound, the 20,000-square-foot red brick building with distinctive half-moon windows topped by a cupola is in need of major repairs, including the updating of its antiquated plumbing and heating systems. The building is not handicapped accessible.

Today, Brodbeck Music Hall houses the department of music, an auditorium, offices, music studios and practice rooms, and dressing and costume areas. The sound and lighting systems were updated in 2002.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Hood College District [Boundary increase]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1988.

People Behind the Names. Pamphlet. Frederick, MD: Hood College, 1996.

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

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Last update: November 2006