Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Philip Weltner Library

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Institution Name: Oglethorpe University
Original/Historic Place Name: Lowry Hall
Location on Campus: 4484 Peachtree Rd, N.E.
Date(s) of Construction:
1929original construction
Designer: unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Gothic revival (Glossary)
Narrative: see below
References: see below
ca. 1926other (University Press)
ca. 1926residence hall (top floor)
ca. 1926academic department building (School of Commerce)
ca. 1970-present (2006)library
1992-present (2006)museum

This building was named after Emma Markham Lowry. She was the wife of Robert Lowry, a prominent member of the Atlanta business community who served as president of the Lowry Banking Co. and the Atlanta Home Insurance Co. This academic hall was built in 1926 to house the School of Commerce. The top floor held dormitory rooms. When Lowry Hall was completed, the Oglethorpe University Press was moved from Lupton Hall to the new building. Later the building was converted to a science facility with chemistry laboratories. In the 1970s, it became the library.

In 1991-1992, Lowry Hall was remodeled and expanded considerably with the help of the R.W. Woodruff Foundation. A new cornerstone was added to the new section. The library includes a formal reading room with atrium, a glass enclosed reading room, and an after-hours reading room. On the third floor is the Oglethorpe Museum which opened in 1992.

The original and expanded appearance of Lowry Hall-Philip Weltner Library is expressed by Gothic revival details similar to that of Lupton Hall. The entire building is dominated by an original tower form with battlements, which is now in the center of the academic hall. The library was named after Philip Weltner, the distinguished prison reformer and educator. As successor to the Oglethorpe presidency after Thornwell Jacobs in 1944, Weltner was one of the nation's leaders in the establishment of a general education core curriculum for which Oglethorpe received national recognition (from National Register report, "Oglethorpe University Historic District" [1994]).


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.


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Last update: November 2006