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The donor for this building was John Thomas Lupton, a Coca-Cola bottler in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Lupton was a staunch supporter for Oglethorpe from 1914-1933, a fact revealed in the correspondence between Mr. Lupton and Dr. Jacobs. In 1919, Lupton made an initial contribution of $50,000 for a new building to honor his family. Lupton continued to pay installments as a building slowly evolved, according to Jacob's plan.
The building is unusual in that it was constructed in three separate vertical 2 and 1/2 story buildings which also have basement levels. Each section was used according to the plan after completion. There are thus three separate entrances, and three separately dated cornerstones. The first was laid on June 30, 1920, in honor of J.T. Lupton's mother, Rebecca Catherine Lee Lupton. The Lupton generosity inspired another donor to contribute $5000 for the building's most distinctive feature, a clock tower approximately 100 feet high with chimes. The two dials on the clock on the north and east faces of the tower are illuminated at night. The top of the tower has fortress battlements. The Lupton Hall tower clock is unique in Atlanta. In 1972 the Lupton Hall bell system was augmented by the addition of a newly-cast 30 bell carillon, cast in the Netherlands. At the time it was reportedly one of the world's ten working carillons. It is played at commencements and other ceremonies. An octagonal tower flanks the square bell tower just to the south of the east facade. It rises slightly higher than the bell tower and has the same battlement form.
The second cornerstone of an evolving Lupton Hall was laid on April 4, 1925. It was dedicated to J.T. Lupton's son, Carter Lupton. In the second section were located classrooms and the Oglethorpe University Press. It was one of the first collegiate press operations in the Deep South and was directed by Dr. Jacobs, who had learned the printing trade during his boyhood. Between 1926-1943 the Press printed numerous books and informational bulletins of high quality production. Almost all are extant in the University archives today and serve as excellent original sources.
The third cornerstone of Lupton Hall was laid on August 26, 1925. It was dedicated to J.T. Lupton's wife, Elizabeth Lupton. This section's entrance leads into an attractive 300 seat auditorium with the original oak-trimmed stage. Originally Lupton Hall's third part lower level was used as an "athletic section." It had a gymnasium, showers, and one of the university's two indoor swimming pools. Classrooms were on the second floor. The top floor was used for dormitory rooms. Today they have only slight modifications and serve as faculty offices. A large lavatory on the top floor reveals its old dormitory function. By 1926, the three sections of Lupton Hall were completed into a unified Gothic structure (from National Register report, "Oglethorpe University Historic District" ).
Thomas, Kenneth H. Oglethorpe University Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1994.