Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


University Hall

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Institution Name: Ohio Wesleyan University
Original/Historic Place Name: University Hall - Gray Chapel
Location on Campus: 61 South Sandusky St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1893dedication in June Post, J. W.
Designer: J. W. Post
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Romanesque revival, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete and stone
Walls: rounded stone
Roof: slate tile
ca. 1893other (literary society meeting space)
ca. 1893chapel
ca. 1893administration
ca. 1893-present (2006)classrooms
ca. 2004-present (2006)auditorium
ca. 2004-present (2006)administration (including Office of the President)

Dedicated at the commencement season of 1893, the construction of University Hall was termed "The Greatest undertaking since the opening of the college." Notable speakers during the dedication ceremony included Ohio Governor William McKinley, the Honorable John Sherman, U.S. Senator, Mrs. Anna Sanborn Clason, and Bishop Henry W. Warren. OWU trustee David S. Gray, OWU trustee donated money for the construction of a 1500-1800 seat chapel and auditorium in memory of his father, David Gray, "a sturdy pioneer preacher." University Hall remains today the symbol of Ohio Wesleyan University, appearing on stationary, brochures, and other publications of the university.

Three organs have graced Gray Chapel since its beginning. The original organ in 1893 was the Roosevelt organ. The Kimball organ was installed in 1931, and the Klais organ from Germany was dedicated in 1980.

The soaring bell tower of University Hall is still today the highest point of any building within the city of Delaware and can be seen city wide. The Bell still rings at every graduation and alumni weekend as it has since 1893. In order to situate University Hall facing South Sandusky, OWU Trustees voted to move Elliott Hall, the original building on campus, to its present location.


Hubbart, Henry Clyde. Ohio Wesleyan's First Hundred Years. Hammond, IN: Conkey Company, 1943 .

Murchland, Bernard, ed. Noble Achievements: The History of Ohio Wesleyan University--From 1942 to 1992. Delaware, OH: Ohio Wesleyan University, 1991.

Tull, Barbara Mitchell. 150 Years of Excellence--A Pictorial View of Ohio Wesleyan University. Delaware, OH: Ohio Wesleyan University, 1991.

University Hall-Gray's Chapel [Ohio Wesleyan University]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1985.

Williams, Judith B. Ohio Wesleyan University Thematic Group. National Register of Historic Places nomination report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1985.


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Last update: November 2006