Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


College Hall

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Institution Name: Lake Erie College
Original/Historic Place Name: Aaron Wilcox Memorial Building
Location on Campus: W. Washington St.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1857-1859original construction Heard, Charles Wallace
1876addition Unknown
1990tower restoration Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: none specified
Walls: red brick
Roof: none specified
ca. 1857gymnasium
ca. 1857student union (drawing room)
ca. 1857library (reading room)
ca. 1857residence hall (faculty and student)
ca. 1857dining hall (including kitchen)
ca. 1857classrooms (art studio, lecture and recitation rooms)
ca. 2004-present (2007)classrooms
ca. 2004-present (2007)other (mailroom)
ca. 2004-present (2007)faculty offices
ca. 2004-present (2007)administration

Significance: architecture, education
Landmark designation:
National RegisterAdministration Building, Lake Erie College (1973)
Narrative: see below
References: see below

College Hall (the Aaron Wilcox Memorial Building) was for 40 years the only building on the Lake Erie College campus. It was here where the institution's female students (the college began in 1856 as Lake Erie Female Seminary) lived, ate, socialized, participated in recreational activities, and carried out domestic duties.

The building, constructed between 1856 and 1859, was designed by Charles Wallace Heard, who had apprenticed under his father-in-law, Jonathan Goldsmith, a leading architect of the Western Reserve. The four-story Italianate-style building, with a tower rising above, was 180 feet wide and 60 feet deep. The building had 108 hooded windows in the front and eight chimneys that offered fireplaces in most rooms. Along the front was a piazza with a balcony above. In 1876 an additional wing, the south wing, was added to the rear of the building; this also contained four floors, the top one of which was not completed until 1910.

At the present time, College Hall houses administrative and faculty offices, classrooms, and the college's mailroom. The fourth floor of the building is entirely closed off for safety reasons. The tower, which contains the front entrance, was restored in 1990.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Fazio, Michael. Administration Building, Lake Erie College [Lake Erie College]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1973.

Johannesen, Eric. Ohio College Architecture Before 1870. Columbus, OH: Ohio Historical Society, 1969.

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

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Last update: November 2006