Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Fancher Building

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Institution Name: Houghton College
Original/Historic Place Name: Jennings Hall, Old Ad; Fancher Hall
Location on Campus: Willard Ave.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1905construction began Unknown
1906first graduation Unknown
1987relocation; addition of modern amenities G. Van Buiten & Son, Inc.
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: concrete block with decorative molded facade
Walls: red brick made on site
Roof: shingle
ca. 1905other (meeting hall, chapel)
ca. 1905classrooms
ca. 1905-present (2007)administration (advancement, enrollment management, admissions, church relations, public relations)

Significance: education, history, religion
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Jennings Hall, now Fancher Building, was considered so important to Houghton College history that when a new academic building was proposed on its site, it wasn't torn down but moved 100 yards, turned 90 degrees and placed on a new foundation in 1987. The 835-ton brick building appeared on the cover of The House and Building Mover journal November-December 1987. The movers were G. Van Buiten & Son, Inc.

The bell tower has been the logo of the college for decades. Fancher building, the second major structure in the history of the college, was begun in 1905 and was originally named for Reverand A. T. Jennings. It contained offices, classrooms, and the meeting room that housed the frequent chapel convocations. The building had no bathrooms until it was moved in 1987 and the basement area was redeveloped. The frugality of the early builders led to their making and baking their own bricks from clay found on the site. Although much of the labor was voluntary and the building materials were inexpensive, the building cost $26,000, exceeding original estimates.

I. Bibliographic sources:

None specified.

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

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Last update: November 2006