Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Harris Hall

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Institution Name: Keystone College
Original/Historic Place Name: Harris Hall
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1870original construction Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: quarry stone
Walls: brick
Roof: shingle
ca. 1870residence hall
ca. 1870classrooms
ca. 2004-present (2007)classrooms (computer laboratory)
ca. 2004-present (2007)academic department building (division of business, management, and technology)
ca. 2004-present (2007)administration (offices of the President, development, and college relations)

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

Harris Hall was built in 1870 and was most likely designed by a civil war veteran by the name of Solomon Reynolds, who was a prominent architect in the area at the time this building was constructed. The Factoryville Lodge 341, Free and Accepted Masons, did participate in the laying of the cornerstone, which contains a time capsule complete with newspapers, coins, paper currency, and accounts of Keystone Academy. The cornerstone reflects two dates: 1870 and the Masonic inscription "A.L. 5870" (according to the masons, "A. L." means "Anno Lucis" or "Year of the Light"). At the time the structure was being built, the building site was an area of solid rock at the highest point of a twenty-one acre tract in the middle of the campus. The decision was made to construct a large room forty feet by fifty feet and two rooms twenty feet by twenty feet. The Chapel/Study Room was opened on January 4, 1872. When the building was finally completed, it had the capacity to hold up to 200 students.

Originally, Harris Hall included a bell tower, but this tower was subsequently removed for reasons of structural integrity. The bell is still preserved on campus today in the form of a memorial to a patron of the College. The bell was used to wake students in the morning, to call students for chapel services, and to bring people in for meals. In 1926 the building was named after the first principal of the "Academy," whose name was John Howard Harris, an educator, scholar, and preacher. The building was used as a dormitory, with the third and fourth floors occupied by students. Dormitory rooms were furnished with a stove and bedsteads, and the remainder of the rooms were used for classrooms. Today, the building is designated for academic classrooms and office space for faculty and administrators, including the Office of the President and the Office of Development and College Relations. An elevator was added in the 1980s to ensure accessibility for disabled individuals.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Adams, Glenn D. Keystone: A History of the Academy and the College, 130th Anniversary, 1868- 1998. La Plume, PA: Keystone College, [ca. 1998].

II. Location of other data:
University: Facilities Management Office

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