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Holland Hall was completed in 1904 to house administrative offices and seven classrooms on the ground floor, and student meeting rooms and an auditorium/chapel seating 450 on the second floor. An Annex was added on the back of the building in 1905 to house Newberry College's new technology program.
Today Holland Hall houses only administrative offices. The auditorium/chapel was moved to Wiles Chapel in 1967, although a small experimental theater remained on the second floor until 2002. Recent renovations were completed in 1967, 1972, 1985, 1988, 1992, and 2002. The last classroom and faculty office space was moved from Holland Hall during the 1972 renovations. The 2002 renovations included remodeling the site of the experimental theater for the Admissions and Financial Aid Offices (the Admissions Office was located in Smeltzer Hall from 1992 until its return to Holland Hall in 2002). The Board of Trustees Meeting and Conference Room was also remodeled in 2002. Plans are to continue with remodeling Holland Hall, with new stairwells and restrooms being installed on the second floor.
The major renovation in 1992 included relocating the main entrance of Holland Hall, which at the time faced the campus quadrangle, to the back of the building in order to face a newly constructed campus fountain bordering a refurbished entrance to the campus. The new entrance included an exterior portico with columns creating a second "front side" to the building. The 1905 annex was razed in 1992 to make space for the portico.
Holland Hall was placed in the Newberry College Historic District (along with Derrick, Keller, and Smeltzer Halls) in 1976 by the National Register for Historic Places.
Holland Hall will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2004; the building was formally dedicated on October 31, 1904. Over one-half of the funds ($10,000) for the construction of the nearly $20,000 building came from a $15,000 Congressional Appropriation in 1898 to reimburse the college for damage to the Original (and only) Building on campus by Federal troops when they occupied the building from July-September, 1865 following the Civil War.
When the new building was completed in 1904, the Board of Trustees voted to name it Holland Hall in memory of George W. Holland, President of Newberry College from 1877 until his death in 1895.
At the building's dedication, the student newspaper, The Stylus," quoted from press clippings about the event and reported:
The hall is ample and adequate for all present needs, but when the present has been outgrown and many equipments of the present shall have been cast aside, this building will still be large enough and good enough to satisfy all needs and keep pace with normal growth. It was planned and erected by far-seeing men who believed in a continuous growth and a magnificent destiny for the institution.
The student publication also proudly noted that the new Holland Hall had electricity and water closets.
Bedenbaugh, Benjamin A. A Centennial History of Newberry College, 1856-1956. Newberry, SC: Newberry College, 1956.
Henry, Gordon C. A History of Newberry College, 1856-1976. Newberry, SC: Newberry College, 1977.
Selected collections. Minutes of the South Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Synod Minutes Collection, James R. Crumley Jr. Archives, Linenburg Memorial Library, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Columbia, SC.
Selected collections. Histories of the South Carolina Lutheran Church.. Congregation History Collection, James R. Crumley Archives, Linenburg Memorial Library, Lutheran Theological Seminary, Columbia, SC.
South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Newberry College Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1976.