Old Main Virtual Museum Page
    Just as the contractor was completing the 1896 building, the 1897 West Virginia legislature appropriated $12,000 for the demolition of the 1839/1856 building and the construction of an entirely new building, located on the same footprint. This building was designed to be a dormitory for women. The contract was awarded to the Withrow Lumber Company of Charleston, WV, on July 31, 1897. Work commenced soon after with the demolition of the 1839/1856 building and its bell tower. The new building was completed in late December 1897 and was accepted by the Board of Regents on January 29, 1898.

    The newly renovated building was called Normal Hall when it opened in 1898; the next year it was renamed Ladies Hall. Finally, in 1902, it became known as College Hall.
    After the construction of the 1898 building, Marshall College's buildings remained separated: the new 1898 building attached to the 1870 building stood east of the 1896 building.
    The new College Hall was a three story brick structure with a stone foundation. The structure was 94 feet long by 40 feet wide with an additional 19-foot projection on the northeast exposure.
    Beginning on the north side, the building's eastern end was a 24-foot bowed section, followed by 70 feet of straight frontage which attached to the 1870 building. There were two entrances on the north side. The first was just west of the bowed section, through a small archway. The main entrance was at the building’s western end, where eight steps led to a spacious covered veranda, 14 by 52 feet in size, and a large arched opening leading to a vestibule and double doors that opened into the interior. The upper floors contained windows, with attractive dormers over those on the third floor.
    The southern side was 94 feet long with a small veranda (22x8 feet) on the southeast corner. Further to the west was the rear entrance with wooden steps. The eastern side contained only windows, and the western end was attached to the 1870 building.

   In 1898 the Normal (later Ladies and College) Hall was designed to be a women’s dormitory, as well as housing for the college’s principal and the female faculty. A description of the newly opened dormitory appeared in the 1897-98 Catalog:
    BASEMENT FLOOR - Cellar, laundry, one water closet, and furnace room.
    FIRST FLOOR - Double parlors, dining hall, kitchen, buttery, pantry, two matron’s rooms, servants room, and two water closets.
    SECOND FLOOR - Principal’s apartments (including parlor, library, office, bath-room, bed-room, kitchen, pantry, and dining hall), two teacher’s suites, guest-room, twelve girls’ rooms, reading hall, and bath-room.
    THIRD FLOOR - One teacher’s suite, nineteen girls’ rooms, one music room, one music hall, and a bath-room.

    Over the years the exterior of College Hall remained basically unaltered, except for the enclosing of the building's two verandas. The one on the northern side was enclosed in the late 1960's, and the one on the southeast corner was enclosed in the 1930's. These alterations were done to expand office space after College Hall was no longer used for a dormitory.

Page last modified 2 September 2004. | Maintained by the Lisle Brown, Curator, Special Collection
© 2003, Special Collections, Marshall University