Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Rolland Center "The Boiler House"

Click on image titles for larger views.
Institution Name: North Central College
Original/Historic Place Name: Physical/Heating Plan
Location on Campus: Loomis and Franklin
Date(s) of Construction:
1907original construction Abell, W. W.
ca. 1980removal of smokestack
Designer: attr. to W. W. Abell
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Regionalist/Vernacular, Other (Glossary)
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Walls: red brick
Roof: shingle
ca. 1907facility management building (heating plant for original four buildings)
ca. 2004-present (2006)other (coffee house, meeting space, internet/computer laboratories)
ca. 2004-present (2006)other (maintenance department storage and offices)

The Rolland Center, or "Boiler House," is going to undergo a creative re-use and become a coffee house and internet/computer lab, engendering more interactions between students, faculty, and administration. The physical/heating plant was built when the College had only four buildings (including two in the process of being built) and provided the first reliable, central heating on campus. The facility had its original smokestack removed in the early 1980s due to its disuse and to safety concerns. A key mission of the College includes fostering personal connections between the faculty, staff, and students, and this redevelopment will physically demonstrate this commitment. Because of its location in a historic neighborhood and limitations on expansion, North Central has had to become very creative to maximize its spaces. In this instance, the College is creating a usable space for years to come from a building that, while charming, has never been viewed by students or staff as particularly significant.


North Central College & Naperville: A Shared History, 1870-1995. Naperville, IL: North Central College, 1995.

Roberts, Clarence N. A Clear & Steady Light: A Brief History of North Central College. Naperville, IL: North Central College, 1981.

Roberts, Clarence N. North Central College: A Century of Liberal Education, 1861-1961. Naperville, IL: North Central College, 1960.

Savage, Charles. A College In Its Community. Naperville, IL: North Central College, [n.d.].


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