Category Archives: Collegiate

Helen Hills Hills Chapel, Smith College (1955)

Helen Hills Hills Chapel

Smith College did not originally have a chapel because its founders wanted students to be part of the Northampton community and attend local churches. Finally in 1953, an alumna from the class of 1908 named Helen Hills Hills (her maiden name was hills and she married a husband named Hills) offered funds for a college chapel. She stipulated that the building should strictly follow the design of traditional New England meeting houses of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Designed by William and Geoffrey Platt (sons of Charles Adams Platt) of New York, the nondenominational Helen Hills Hills Chapel was completed in 1955. The interior of the Chapel (123 Elm Street, Northampton) has recently been modified to create a more flexible space: the old fixed pews have been removed in favor of 300 custom-made oak chairs that can be laid out in different configurations.

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North College, Amherst College (1823)

Built in 1823 and designed by Hiram Johnson as a mirror image of the earlier South College of 1821, North College is located next to to Johnson Chapel (on the other side of which is South College) on the campus of Amherst College. In 1828, another dormitory was built to the north and took the name North College, the 1823 building taking the name Middle College. The new North College burned down in 1857 and the earlier building then reclaimed its original designation. North College has served as dormitories, a chapel, a laboratory, and a library and is now a freshman dormitory.

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South College, Amherst College (1821)

South College was the first building to be constructed on the campus of Amherst College. The cornerstone of South College was laid on August 9, 1820 and the completed building’s dedication took place on the same day as the inauguration of Amherst’s first president, Zephaniah Swift Moore, on September 18, 1821. Located next to Johnson Chapel, South College has served as as classrooms, dormitories, laboratories, and a chapel over the years. Today it is a a freshman dormitory.

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Appleton Hall, Amherst College (1855)

Appleton Hall, on the campus of Amherst College, was built in 1855 as Appleton Cabinet to house the college’s growing natural history collection, which was expanding beyond the the space provided by the 1847 Octagon. In 1925, the building was renamed Appleton Hall and remodeled as an academic building with lecture halls and offices. In 1999, Appleton Hall was converted into a first-year dormitory.

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Blanchard Campus Center, Mount Holyoke College (1899)

By the late 1890s there was clamoring for a gymnasium to be constructed at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley. The College Gymnasium, noted at the time for its state-of-the-art ventilation system, was built in 1899-1900 and was designed by William C. Brocklesby. In 1950, the building was converted into offices and housed the campus post office. In 1988, it became the Blanchard Campus Center, named for Elizabeth Blanchard, an 1858 graduate who served as principal (1883-1888) and acting president (1888-189) of the College. The building was much expanded with additional facilities in 2003.

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Clapp Laboratory, Mount Holyoke College (1924)

Williston Hall at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley burned down in 1917 and was replaced by the Cornelia Clapp Laboratory in 1924. The Gothic Revival building was named for Cornelia Clapp, a member of the Mount Holyoke class of 1871 and a professor of zoology at the college from 1872 to 1916.

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Plimpton House, Amherst College (1914)

The building at 82 Lessey Street in Amherst was built in 1914 by the Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity of Amherst College. It replaced the fraternity’s two earlier connected buildings on the site. One of these had been purchased on land acquired in 1883 from Col. W.S. Clark, President of the Massachusetts Agricultural College (now UMASS Amherst) and the second was built next to it in 1886. The new Georgian Revival fraternity house was designed by Lionel Moses II of the firm of McKim, Meade & White and has a doorway modeled on that of Westover, the eighteenth-century Virginia plantation house of William Byrd II. The fraternity house became an Amherst College dormitory, named Plimpton House, in 1984.

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