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Cornell College is located in Mount Vernon, in eastern central Iowa, on U.S. Highway 30, approximately 15 miles east of Cedar Rapids and approximately 200 miles west of Chicago. The campus of 129 acres and 41 buildings covers a long wooded hilltop and was included on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, the first (and at this time the only) college or university campus to be so honored. A brief description of the principal facilities follows. The year in parentheses after the name is the date when the facility was built.
Allee Chapel (1957) is open daily for individual meditation and group worship. It is also a popular place for weddings. The chapel was given by George Matthew Allee, Class of 1901, and his sister in memory of their mother.
Apartmentsl (1984) provide off-campus college housing for members of some affinity groups as well as for non-affiliated students. Two of the buildings (purchased by the College in 1984) are located on or near Eighth Avenue North and the third (built by the College in 1984) on Tenth Avenue South.
Armstrong Hall of Fine Arts (1938), the gift of Blanche Swingley Armstrong, Class of 1891, houses the departments of Art, Music, and Theatre and Communications Studies. It contains a central art gallery for the display of student and traveling exhibits, a theatre, ``The Underworld'' for experimental drama, studios, classrooms, and museums. Armstrong Annex has an electric-bisquing, a raku, a salt-glaze, and two large gas kilns.
The art collections in Armstrong Hall include: the Whiting Glass Collection; nearly 200 etchings, dry points, lithographs, and woodcuts from the collection of Dr. William K. Jacques, Class of 1883; the Sonnenshein Collection of drawings by Michelangelo, the Carraci, Carlo Dolci, Goustave Dore, and others; a permanent collection of paintings, including works by Larry Rivers, Karel Appel, Richard Anuskiewicz, Robert Andrew Parker, Charles Demuth, Marc Chagall, Robert Motherwell, and Max Weber; and a slide collection, including 1,200 photographic slides of predominately ancient art, the gift of Gertrude Miner King.
Ash Park (purchased in 1891) is an athletic field of 23 acres with facilities for tennis, field hockey, baseball, and archery. The football field, situated in a natural amphitheater, is surrounded by a quarter-mile track with a 220-yard straightaway. The land was originally part of the homestead of Reuben Ash, one of Mount Vernon's earliest settlers.
Bowman-Carter Hall (1885) is and has traditionally been a residence for women. It was named originally in honor of Cornell's founder, George Bowman, who had raised part of the cost of the new building. In 1989, in appreciation of a generous gift from Archie Carter and his wife, Marie, extensive renovations were begun, including the erection of the south and west towers, completed in 1990. The late Mr. Carter, responsible for the planting of numerous trees on campus that have enhanced the beauty of the Hilltop, was a graduate of the Class of 1933 and a trustee of the College. A description and some of the history of Bowman-Carter is given in the section on the History of the College. In 1934, the fan-shaped sun parlor on the east side was replaced by a rectangular sun parlor, which in 1936 was extended southward to enlarge the dining hall to accommodate the men from the newly opened Merner dormitory. The Second World War brought the Naval Flight Preparatory School to Cornell's campus and men into Bowman's hitherto sacrosanct rooms (January 1943-October 1944).
Brackett House (1877) was built by William Brackett, a local carpenter and the contractor who supervised the completion of King Chapel. Acquired by the College in 1952 and renovated in 1978, it now provides elegant accommodations for campus visitors. Many of the furnishings are antiques.
Cole Library (1957) is named in honor of Cornell's ninth president, Russell David Cole. During academic year 1993-94 COLE ONLINE, which allows remote access to the library's card catalogue via a computer, became operational. Extensive physical remodeling of the facility began in June, 1994.
Since 1896, the Library has been a depository for selected U.S. Federal publications, valuable resources for research in the sciences and social sciences. The Iowa Computer Assisted Network (ICAN), drawing on the resources of other academic and public libraries in the state, offers access to books and periodicals not in the collection and OCLC terminals provide access to over 25 million bibliographic records for use in interlibrary loan, cataloguing, and bibliographic verification. Access to other bibliographical databases is also provided. The Audio-Visual Services Department provides technical assistance to the departments for media presentation and offers a wide range of equipment and production services that students and faculty utilize regularly for curricular and extracurricular activities.
College Hall (1857), which was renovated in 1978, is the second oldest academic building on campus. Besides classrooms, this building has contained laboratories, halls for the Literary Societies (the ambience of one such hall is preserved in Room 301) and other student organizations, a library, gymnasium, armory for the Cornell Cadets, and, until 1959, administrative offices. William Fletcher King slept here during his first months at Cornell in 1862. Its original name was ``the Main College Building,'' but in May 1889 the Board of Trustees decreed that it should be called ``College Hall.'' It now contains classrooms, the Language Laboratory, and offices for the departments of Economics and Business, Education, French, German, Greek, History, Latin, Philosophy, Religion, Russian, Sociology and Anthropology, and Spanish.
Collin House (1889), just west of the President's House, was built by Professor Alonzo Collin, whose services to the College spanned the years 1860 to 1906 and included teaching mathematics, natural science, physics, and chemistry. He was also college librarian (1860-70) and acting president (1880-81). The house was acquired by the College in 1924 and now contains four apartments for visiting faculty.
Commons (1966) provides centralized dining and recreational facilities for the college community and contains eight dining rooms; Rathskeller; Patio-Ice Rink; classrooms; computer laboratory; game, conference, and activities rooms; the College Bookstore; offices for Student Government; KRNL-FM, student-operated radio station; The Cornellian, student newspaper; and The Royal Purple, student yearbook.
Ebersole Center (1955), with its addition built in 1964, was renovated in 1988. It houses the offices of various Student Affairs departments, including the Career Development Center, Counseling Services, Health Center, and Residence Life. The funds for the Center were bequeathed in the wills of Francis and William Ebersole. Dr. Francis Ebersole was a local physician. His brother William Stahl Ebersole was associated with the College for 43 years as professor of Greek, registrar, and acting president.
Harlan House (1875) was the home of Professor James Harlan, who later became Cornell's fourth president. The College acquired it in 1934. Since 1986 Harlan House has been a women's affinity group residence.
Ink Pond (1966) is an artificial pond dedicated to the memory of Raymond P. Ink, class of 1897, on whose nearby farm many generations of Cornellians spent fun-filled hours. The pond is 133 x 200 feet and is stocked with fish. The center fountain was a gift of the Class of 1984, and was installed that year. Intramural and soccer fields are located across the street.
International Center (1884) was opened in the fall of 1980 for the use of Cornell's international students and others interested in foreign languages and cultures. It provides meeting rooms for the International Club and contains a kitchen and classrooms. The house itself was built as a private residence by George Lytle so that his son might attend Cornell. The College purchased the building in 1906 for the Cornell Conservatory of Music. From 1958-61 the Department of Home Economics was located here and from 1961-80 it was the Psychology House.
King Chapel was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The Board of Trustees resolved in June 1874 to erect a Chapel. Construction began in October 1875, and the cornerstone was laid on June 22, 1876. One month later, when the walls were half up, the contractor went bankrupt and left the job. The employees of the contractor filed mechanics liens, which the College had to assume. This additional financial burden was almost fatal for Cornell, already suffering from the delayed effects of the national financial panic of 1873, and the whole campus had to be mortgaged to secure a loan to pay off the College's obligations. The faculty contributed one quarter of their salaries to help reduce the indebtedness. Conditions improved both nationally and locally so that by 1882 the College was free of debt and could complete the building. The lower floor contained a Day Chapel. Chapel exercises were inaugurated here on April 1, 1878 (they were not regularly conducted in the main auditorium until September 1915). It was in this room that Carl Sandburg read his poetry and sang his songs during his annual visits from 1920 to 1939. The library and the museum of biological and geological specimens, both opened in September 1880, occupied respectively the north and south ends of the lower floor. The main auditorium, which could seat 1,600 people, was first used on June 22, 1882, when the celebrated orator who had spoken at Lincoln's funeral and opened the U.S. Centennial Exposition, Bishop Matthew Simpson, held his audience spellbound for two hours as he talked about ``leadership.'' The dedication of the Chapel followed on Sunday morning, June 25. The Chapel was officially named the ``William Fletcher King Memorial Chapel'' by an act of the Board of Trustees on June 7, 1940.
The building is constructed with dolomitic limestone quarried locally. The main tower is almost 130 feet high and contains a Seth Thomas clock. Steam heating was installed in 1885 and electric lighting in May 1898. Although the library, museum, and Day Chapel are no longer on the lower floor and the upper floor was slightly changed in the 1931 and 1967 renovations, the outside of the Chapel remains virtually the same as it was in 1882. The auditorium now displays the 65 ranks (containing 3,800 pipes) of the Möller organ, dedicated on October 21, 1967
The A. L. Killian Carillon, consisting of metal rods whose vibrations are amplified electrically to produce bell-like tones, was dedicated in 1950 and rebuilt and restored in 1981. The 25 notes of the English ``bells'' can be played from the organ console or by a roll player. The 61 notes of the Flemish ``bells'' must be played from a special console.
McCague Hall, a gift in 1967 of Ralph C. McCague, a trustee of the College from 1950 to 1985, is located on the first floor and serves for meetings, small recitals, and rehearsals. Nearby is the electric stairlift, the gift of James McCutcheon, Class of 1925 and a trustee of the College, and his wife Ruth Lynch McCutcheon, installed in December 1983 to make it possible for everyone to attend the lectures, recitals, and concerts in the auditorium upstairs.
Law Hall (1925) offers well-equipped classrooms and laboratories for the departments of Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology, including facilities for nuclear physics provided by grants from the Research Corporation and the United States Atomic Energy Commission. The building, renovated in 1980 and 1982, was a gift from the Reverend Marion Law, ex 1890, in memory of his parents and in appreciation of Dr. W. H. Norton, Cornell's first professor of Geology. Two major computing laboratories are located on the second floor of Law Hall.
Life Sports Center (1986) was named for Richard Small, a trustee of the College and a graduate of the Class of 1950, and his wife, Norma, generous and loyal alumni. The Center is built next to, and incorporates, the former Field House (opened in 1953) and is intended to serve not only the College but also the entire community by providing recreational activities and fitness programs. The Richard and Norma Small Life Sports Center has five basketball courts with movable bleachers seating 1,800. Other indoor facilities include a six-lane, 200-meter track; four tennis courts; five volleyball courts; four racquetball courts; golf and batting cages; weight training, wrestling, and training rooms, as well as locker rooms. The 25-yard swimming pool has submerged observation windows and is flanked by 350 seats to accommodate spectators at swimming meets and water shows. Outdoor facilities include a baseball diamond, six tennis courts, the football stadium, a six-lane, 400-yard, crushed brick track, and open practice fields. Commencement is held every May in the arena (160 X 300 feet).
Maintenance Building (1964) provides facilities for those in charge of buildings and grounds. It is also the garage for the College bus, called the ``Ram-bler,'' and other college cars which may be used by student groups.
Merner Hall (1936) was made possible by a gift from Henry Pfeiffer and his wife Anna Merner Pfeiffer (see ``Pfeiffer Hall''). Originally a men's dormitory, in September, 1978, it became coeducational.
Minority Cultural Center (1889) has since 1969 been a social and cultural center and is currently operated by the Black Awareness Cultural Organization (BACO). This ``Cottage,'' as it was originally called, was built to house the College's infirmary, the very first building on campus intended exclusively as a student health center. After 1923, the building served as a residence for various Cornell staff members.
Music Practice House (1892) is one of Mount Vernon's former mansions. The house was built by William E. Platner, a prominent local merchant. In 1963 the College purchased the building and furnished it with pianos to serve as a practice and rehearsal facility for students taking courses in applied music. This historic home was beautifully refurbished in 1989 through the generosity of alumna (Class of 1948) Josephine Yarcho Iserman and her husband Vern.
Norton Geology Center and Anderson Museum (1905) honors the man who was Cornell's first professor of Geology and curator of its original museum (opened in 1880). Dr. William Harmon Norton's almost 75 years of distinguished service to Cornell as student, teacher, and member of the Board of Trustees are unique in the annals of American colleges and universities. The building opened in 1905 as a library, built with funds provided by steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, who stipulated that the facility be constructed with steel beams. Between 1958 and 1976, it served as quarters for the Department of Chemistry. In the fall of 1980, after being completely renovated (the original marble staircase and other architectural details having been preserved), the building became the home of the Department of Geology. The Russell and Elizabeth Anderson Museum, on all three floors of the building, is open without charge to the public. Mr. Anderson (1918-1987), a graduate of the Class of 1941, majored in Geology under Professor Norton. An extensive collection of geological books, maps, and periodicals and more than 20,000 specimens of rocks, minerals, and fossils are stored within the Center.
Old Sem (1853), Cornell's oldest academic building, houses administrative offices. The early accounts of the building were told in the chapter on the History of the College. After serving for more than 30 years as a boarding hall and classroom building, the Seminary Building was in dire need of renovation; hence the nickname ``Old Sem,'' which the students began to use in 1885, was an appropriate description and not a mark of affection as it is today. It was refitted in 1886 for Chemistry and Physics, whence the name by which it was generally called until 1959, ``Science Hall.'' In 1892, a mansard roof was added to create a fourth floor, thereby providing three excellent art studios. After the fire on February 16, 1924, which left only the masonry walls, Old Sem was rebuilt in its original style.
Pauley Hall (1963), named for Clarence O. Pauley, Class of 1901 and a member of the Board of Trustees from 1944 to 1964, and his wife Maude Strobel Pauley, Class of 1903, was until September 1971 a men's residence. Then an exchange was effected between Tarr Hall and Pauley in order to bring women to the western end of the campus and men to the center of the Hilltop. In the fall of 1976 Pauley became the Women's Academic Residence. From 1984 to 1989, it was home to the coeducational Pauley Academic Program. It now serves as a coeducational residence hall.
Pfeiffer Hall (1930) was made possible by the generosity of Henry and Anna Merner Pfeiffer. In February 1941, a new wing was opened to provide additional rooms. Today Pfeiffer also houses the painting studio complex, which contains large studios for class instruction and individual studios for thesis and tutorial work. Pfeiffer Hall was a women's residence hall until September 1978, when it became coeducational.
Prall House (1913) was acquired by the College in 1992. During academic year 1993-94 it served as the headquarters for the Presidential Search Committee. Beginning fall, 1994, the Academic Computing and Institutional Research offices will be located here, as well as a seminar classroom.
President's House (1850), the home of all but three of Cornell's 14 presidents, was built by William Hamilton, a banker and later a member of Cornell's Board of Trustees (1857-65). President William Fletcher King purchased the house and the surrounding 11 acres of land in 1864 and gave the house to the College when he retired in 1908. Dr. King continued to dwell here even after his retirement and died in his study on October 23, 1921, while President and Mrs. Flint were living in the house. It is the scene of many receptions for students, faculty, and visitors. East of the house is the famous ginkgo tree, certified by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources as ``the largest reported of its species growing in the State of Iowa.'' It is 85 feet in height, 12 feet 1 inch in circumference, has a crown spread of 72 feet, and is more than 135 years old.
Rood House (1883) is really three separate buildings which are now joined together into what has been traditionally but not exclusively a women's residence hall. The original house was the private residence of Colonel Henry H. Rood, a local merchant, member of Cornell's Board of Trustees (1867-1915), and treasurer of the College. His house was presented to the College in 1919, four years after his death, by the class of 1894 and opened as a women's dormitory. In 1936, the former home of Dr. A. A. Crawford was moved from the site where Merner Hall now stands and attached to the east side. When Olin Hall was built in 1955, the Anna Jordan house was moved and attached behind the original Rood House.
Rorem Hall (1966), named in honor of Gaylord C. Rorem, Class of 1911, and his wife Alma Bergfeld Rorem, Class of 1910, was originally a men's dormitory. From 1977 to 1984, it was the Men's Academic Residence. In 1984, Rorem became a coeducational residence hall.
South Hall (1873), renovated in 1981, contains classrooms, seminar rooms, and offices for the departments of English and Politics. The Hillside Press, on which the hand-set Cornell College Chapbook series was printed, was located in the basement. For its early history as a men's boarding hall, see ``History of the College.''
Spear Memorial Sundial (1906), set on a hexagonal granite base ornamented with cherubic figures in relief, was until 1980 a drinking fountain. The painting or clothing of these figures in garish colors has continued to tempt Cornellians since the fountain was dedicated by Armstrong Spear, Class of 1881, in memory of his first wife Annie F. Spear.
Stoner House (1902), built by a local physician, Dr. A. C. Tenney, who had his office in the basement, this house changed owners many times before being purchased by Inez Stoner in 1963. Between 1939 and 1942, a Mrs. Lott operated a coffee shop here that featured triangular-shaped doughnuts in four flavors and four choices of frostings. The College bought the house in 1974 and converted it into apartments for faculty. From 1990 to 1994, the building was used as an affinity house and beginning fall, 1994, it became Cornell's Multicultural Center. Students from multicultural groups on campus manage the basement and first floor-the Multicultural Center-and the Office of Multicultural Affairs is located on the second floor. Space has been allocated for offices and programming.
Tarr Hall (1965), named for Edith Vosburgh Tarr, a graduate of the Academy in 1903 and the mother of three Cornell graduates, was originally a women's residence, but in September 1971 became a men's hall (see ``Pauley Hall'').
Wade House (1884) has since 1975 been the headquarters of the Office of Enrollment Services (Admissions and Financial Aid). The College acquired the house in 1947 upon the death of Ruby Clare Wade, Class of 1905 and professor of French at Cornell from 1917 to 1947.
West Science Center (1976), named for Merle Scott West, Class of 1909, incorporates the capability for solar heating and is designed throughout to conserve electrical and thermal energy. The Center contains laboratories, lecture halls, seminar rooms, and libraries for the departments of Biology and Chemistry, and a greenhouse with three temperature zones. The Anthropoid Collection and mounted birds collection is displayed here.
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