Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Merrick Hall

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Institution Name: Ohio Wesleyan University
Original/Historic Place Name: Merrick Hall
Location on Campus: 65 South Sandusky St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1873original construction Tinsley, William
Designer: William Tinsley
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Victorian (Glossary)
Significance: architecture
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Materials:
Foundation: stone block
Walls: Delaware Blue limestone
Roof: slate tile
 
Function:
ca. 1873private residence (faculty residence)
ca. 1873museum (science)
 

Narrative:
Merrick Hall, named for OWU President Frederick Merrick (1860-1873), was purposed as a science & alumni hall. It was constructed of Delaware Blue Limestone and featured a large science museum on the 3rd floor. Due to financial constraints and low enrollment resulting from the Civil War, raising funds to construct the building covered many years from groundbreaking in 1868 to dedication in 1873.

Some of the most prominent features of Merrick Hall are reminiscent of the Jacobean style of Blicking Hall built from 1616-1624. They include 8 serpentine dormers, 2 towering cupolas with case iron weather-vanes, and 4 massive chimneys. The façade also has smooth limestone quoin corners.

From National Register Report (1985):
During the post Civil War period, it became evident that the classics-oriented curriculum was giving way to a more pragmatic, scientific emphasis. This change is reflected in the architecture of Merrick Hall (1868-1873), originally called "Alumni Hall" or "Science Hall", in a departure from the Greek tradition of Elliott and Sturges. Another significant event during this period was the 1877 union of the male University with the Ohio Wesleyan Female College, begun in 1853 on the western edge of Delaware. While the two schools were slow to integrate, the University now absorbed courses that later developed into the Home Economics, Fine Arts, and Music departments.
 

References:

Davis, R. Mike. Elliott Hall, Sturges Library and Merrick Hall. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1973.

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

Johannesen, Eric. Ohio College Architecture before 1870. [Columbus, OH]: Ohio Historical Society, 1969.

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.

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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