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Pennell was a private residence until the 1930s, when it was converted to the Antioch Infirmary. During the 1970s it housed a Marxist studies program called the Radical Studies Institute. Closed in the 1980s and nearly lost to the wrecking ball, Pennell was saved by a group of interested faculty, alumni, and local residents. Restoration was completed in 1995. Pennell House was built as the home of Rebecca Mann Pennell, a member of the original Antioch faculty and considered the first female college professor with equal status to her male colleagues.
Dean Family Farm Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1994.
"Famed Teachers Home: Landmark or Eyesore?" New York Times, August 19, 1991.