Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
College History



Park Hall

The administration building was built in 1934 on the site of the southeast wing of Old Metcalf Hall. The cost of the building, including furniture, fixtures and landscaping, was $177,100.49. When the architectural firm of Cram and Ferguson received the Trustees' decision to go ahead with plans for the building, they held an office-wide celebration on 22 Nov 1932. It was the first new business they had received in months. They wrote to J. Edgar Park: "we can assure you that it is of very major importance to us and our employees to receive this commission at the present time. It will mean employment for several men for some weeks who would otherwise be without work."

The original design included post office, bookstore, administrative offices for president, deans, registrar, admissions, and treasurer; and 21 bedrooms or suites for the secretarial staff. The second and third floors were devoted to these living quarters. The roof could be used for sun bathing, but quiet was to reign after 10 p.m. In 1963, all living quarters were made into offices, and the entire building was remodeled in 1965. The bookstore was moved to the former Everett Dining Room in 1978.

While the administrative building was under construction, President Park suggested naming it for Mary Woolley W1884, then president of Mount Holyoke College, but the Trustees wanted to name it Park Hall. In consequence, the building remained unnamed until its re-dedication in 1954 in honor of the Rev. John Edgar Park, President of Wheaton from 1926 to 1944. Of the decision Dr. Park wrote: "My name is restful in a traffic-mad world and should serve an administration building well."

Comments are closed.