Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Making It Modern

Academics

Early Residence Halls

Chapin Hall, 1900To the left is a rendering of Chapin Hall, which was constructed in 1900. Built in the Georgian Revival Style, Chapin was Wheaton's first brick building. The dormitory was also the first structure to be placed on campus according to Ralph Adams Cram's plan. It was renovated into office space in 1934 before being returned to its original function as a dormitory in 1989.

-Shannon Ryan, class of 2010

Cragin Hall was built in 1911 and adjoins Emerson Dining Hall to the south. Along with Larcom (1908), Stanton (1921) and Everett Halls (1926), Cragin forms a quadrangle that further developed the Georgian Revival style. When first built, Larcom and Cragin Halls each had unique architectural elements. This photograph shows Cragin’s owl, which hovered above the central Court of Honor entrance. The owl, along with many of the other original decorations, has since been removed, because its wooden construction required extensive upkeep.

-Andrea Bravo, Class of 2009

Stanton Hall. Unidentified Photographer. Photograph. 1921.Stanton Hall was the first Wheaton dormitory designed with a peaked roof and without any architectural decoration along the roofline. Ironically, this state-of-the-art roof design was not impervious to the elements as, almost immediately, the roof began to leak! Twenty years later, problems with the roof continued as Cram and Ferguson, then the college architects, were unable to rectify the flaw in their design.

-Leah Niederstadt/Zephorene Stickney

Architectural Rendering for Everett Quadrangle. Bernice Jamieson. Paper, watercolor. 42.5 x 85.5 cm. N.D.Designed by Ralph Adams Cram, Everett Hall was constructed in 1926 and named for Ida Josephine Everett, who was a Professor of English and Dean of the College for many years. Originally, Everett Hall housed both students and faculty, while also containing a dining hall in its north section. Along with Emerson, Cragin, and Stanton Halls, Everett’s L-shaped design formed the quadrangle we now call Everett Courtyard. The courtyard was meant to represent a “world within a world” that could be accessed through Slype, the arched opening between the Courtyard and Howard Street. It is important to note that this watercolor rendering portrays Everett from an unrealistic viewpoint since Cragin Hall filled this space in 1911. Such impractical viewpoints are often employed in architects’ renderings of single structures.

-Shannon Ryan, class of 2010

Completed in 1926, Everett Hall was the largest dormitory on campus at the time. It was also more sophisticated in design with the addition of a cupola on its roof — most of the architectural elements along the rooflines of other dormitories were wooden, suffered from damage, and have been removed.

-Mell Scalzi, Class of 2009

The photograph to the left offers a glimpse into one of Wheaton’s dormitories. As we can see in the interior image, Wheaton students of the 1940s decorated their rooms to create an individualized space, much as their peers do today.

-Mell Scalzi, Class of 2009

President in Steam Shovel for Kilham Hall Ground Breaking. Unidentified Photographer. Photograph. 12.5 x 17.5 cm. Ca. 1932. In 1926 John Edgar Park succeeded Samuel Valentine Cole as president of Wheaton College. During the first decade of Park’s presidency, he continued President Cole’s and Ralph Adams Cram’s plans for the college by completing the Court of Honor. He began with the construction of a new dormitory, Kilham Hall, in 1932, followed quickly by Hebe Parlors and New Metcalf Hall (1933). After the construction of the Administration Building (Park Hall) in 1934, the Court of Honor was complete. Park was still president when Professor Esther Seaver began her campaign for Modern architecture at Wheaton.

Despite the impact of the Great Depression on college resources, newly appointed President J. Edgar Park continued the campus expansion. Kilham Hall and Hebe Parlors were constructed in 1931, and “New” Metcalf Hall was completed in 1933, which replaced the original white-clapboard Metcalf Hall. These were among the last of the buildings on Cram’s sketch to be completed; the final being Park Hall in 1934. Hebe’s original 13 parlors linked the two dormitories and provided a venue for young women to entertain guests. It has twice been renovated, once in 1947 when it became three small faculty apartments, and again in 1989/90 as offices and a small apartment for a “Quad Resident.”

The building’s name derives from the small statue of Hebe, Greek cupbearer to the Gods, which stands in the courtyard. As can be seen in the photograph, Hebe was originally located much closer to the portico.The statue was a gift from Mrs. Wheaton to celebrate the seminary’s fiftieth anniversary in 1884. Originally located next to what is now Mary Lyon Hall, the statue was moved to the courtyard in 1934. Hebe has often played a role in campus traditions, including being wrapped in a daisy chain on Senior Day; and she was often targeted in pranks by regional men’s colleges. Over time, the statue was damaged. It was recast in bronze and given a new perch in the courtyard in 1982 on Founder’s Day. Today, she continues to serve as the endpoint for the Hoop Roll during Senior week. Even though she is no longer draped in daisy chains, it is not uncommon for students to dress Hebe in random articles of clothing, especially around Halloween or on other holidays.

-Mell Scalzi, Class of 2009; Andrea Bravo, Class of 2009

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