Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Brigham Dormitory

Click on image titles for larger views.
Institution Name: Mount Holyoke College
Original/Historic Place Name: Brigham Dormitory
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction:
1896original construction Brocklesby, William C.
Designer: William C. Brocklesby (Hartford, CT)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Gothic revival, Victorian, Other (Glossary)
Significance: culture, education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
1896-present (2006)residence hall

Built in 1897, Brigham Hall dormitory was the first building to be completed after the big fire in 1896. Having dormitories as residences for students was a departure from Mary Lyon's original goal of having students reside in the same building as the faculty, classrooms, and other college facilities. It was ironic that the loss of the original Seminary Building in 1896 allowed for the further development of the cottage system on campus. Brigham Hall was named for Mary Brigham, class of 1849 and a former teacher at the seminary. Brigham was a proponent of the cottage system for school architecture and raised $3,000 toward that purpose. She was chosen to be President of the college in 1889 but was killed in a train accident before she could take office.

Brigham Hall was constructed with funds raised by the alumnae of New York and Brooklyn and was the home of the College presidents from 1897 to 1909.


Alaimo, Laura Ann. "Building Mount Holyoke College, 1896-1900." B. A. thesis, Mount Holyoke College Department of History, 1981.

Edmonds, Anne Carey. A Memory Book: Mount Holyoke College 1837-1987. South Hadley, MA: Mount Holyoke College, 1988.

Gaines, Thomas A. The Campus as a Work of Art. New York: Praeger, 1991.

Horowitz, Helen Lefkowitz. Alma Mater: Design and Experience in the Women's Colleges from Their Nineteenth-Century Beginnings to the 1930s. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1984.

Mount Holyoke College. The Centenary of Mount Holyoke College. South Hadley, MA: Mount Holyoke College, 1937.

Mount Holyoke College. Memorial. Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. Springfield, MA: S. Bowles & Company, 1862.

"Mount Holyoke College Historic Map Website." Online (1997). Archives and Special Collections.

Nutting, Mary O. Historical Sketch of Mount Holyoke Seminary. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1876.

Schwartz, Robert, et al. "Historical Atlas of the Mount Holyoke College Campus." Online (2004). Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA.

Stow, Sarah D. Locke. History of Mount Holyoke Seminary, South Hadley, Mass., During its First Half Century. Springfield, MA: Springfield Printing Company, 1887.


Contact us / About Site / About CIC
© 2006
Council of Independent Colleges
Washington, DC
All rights reserved
Last update: November 2006