Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Smith Auditorium

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Institution Name: Manhattan College
Original/Historic Place Name: Smith Auditorium and Chapel
Location on Campus: Manhattan College Parkway
Date(s) of Construction:
1928original construction O'Connor, James W. Delaney, James F.
Designer: James W. O'Connor; James F. Delaney (New York)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism, Colonial revival (Glossary)
Significance: religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Materials:
Foundation: concrete footings on rock
Walls: exterior: load bearing brick masonry
Roof: slate
 
Function:
1928-present (2006)chapel
1928-present (2006)auditorium (seats 1200)
 

Narrative:
Located in the heart of the Quadrangle, Smith Auditorium houses the Chapel of De La Salle and His Brothers (on the upper level) and a multi-purpose auditorium (on the lower level). It was named for donor George R. Smith, class of 1884. The marble altar was donated by Mr. William F. Kenny, and the organ was a gift of La Salle Military Academy of Manhattan. The Chapel was left a stark white, contrasting with the dark wainscoting and the Stations of the Cross carved in Oberammergau. Five stained glass windows were installed as a gift from Rev. Daniel Cunion (class of 1880) and friends on the fiftieth anniversary of his graduation.

The Auditorium on the first floor was designed to seat 1200. It is the scene of meetings, plays, concerts, and notable lectures. The esplanade and steps were designed to provide an outdoor setting for commencements in years past, Moving-Up Day, and they are an obvious meeting place for students between classes and for lunch hour.

Today the Chapel is the site for Mass and special convocations and events. Smith Auditorium is the home to the Manhattan players, students and academic activities, and campus gatherings.
 

References:

Costello, Gabriel. The Arches of the Years: Manhattan College 1853-1979. Riverdale, NY: Manhattan College, 1980.

 

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Last update: November 2006