Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


George T. Ettinger Building

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Institution Name: Muhlenberg College
Original/Historic Place Name: Administration Building
Location on Campus: 2400 Chew St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1903-1904original construction Ruhe, Lange & Everett
1948restoration after 1947 fire
1990renovation Perry Dean Rogers Partners
Designer: Ruhe, Lange & Everett (Allentown, PA); Perry Dean Rogers Partners (Boston)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Gothic revival, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete
Walls: ashlar stone, limestone, ashlar bluestone
Roof: membrane
ca. 1904library
ca. 1904chapel
ca. 1904administration
1904-present (2006)faculty offices
1904-present (2006)classrooms
ca. 2004-present (2006)other (office of information technology)

The George T. Ettinger Building was constructed as one of the College's two original buildings when Muhlenberg moved from center city Allentown to its current location at the beginning of the 20th century. When the cornerstone was placed in 1903, the area was beyond the city limits and entirely farmland. For many years it remained the College' only academic building, housing administrative offices, classrooms, faculty offices, the library collection, and the chapel. As part of the plan for "A Greater Muhlenberg" created in 1916, the Ettinger Building, then known simply as the Administration Building, was eventually to become the eastern anchor of a row of three signature College buildings forming the northern edge of the academic quadrangle.

The night before Commencement in 1947 the building suffered extensive damage from fire. The third floor was entirely destroyed and the rest of the building devastated by fire and water. The stone shell survived, however, and the building was restored and ready for use by the fall of 1948. In 1990, under the direction of Perry Dean Rogers and Partners of Boston, the building was once again extensively renovated and modernized for state-of-the-art classroom and faculty offices. It remains an architectural landmark in Allentown and represents the College's faith in the future when the decision was made to move to our current location 100 years ago.


Muhlenberg College Alumni Magazine (July-August 1947).

Swain, James E. A History of Muhlenberg College, 1848-1967. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1967.


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Last update: November 2006