Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Burke Administration Building

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Institution Name: Olivet Nazarene University
Original/Historic Place Name: Marsile-Alumni Hall (1906, St. Viator College)
Location on Campus: 240 E. Marsile Ave., NW corner entrance of campus
Date(s) of Construction:
1906original construction
Designer: unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete, limestone
Walls: exterior: limestone; interior: plaster plus some drywall; glass and steel interior in recent remodeling
Roof: tar, gravel
ca. 1906classrooms
ca. 1906administration
ca. 1940chapel (seating 500)
ca. 1940academic department building (natural sciences, social sciences, business, art, music)
ca. 1940-present (2006)academic department building (religion and philosophy, languages, and literature)
ca. 2002-present (2006)academic department building (computer science)
ca. 2004-present (2006)administration (president, academic dean, registrar, institutional advancement, adult and graduate studies, career placement)
ca. 2004-present (2006)other (conference rooms)

Burke Administration Building is an imposing structure at the northwest corner of our campus. Since 1940 it has been the building for academics and administration for Olivet, and for the predecessor school on this campus, St. Viator College (1868-1938).

Olivet moved here in 1940 from its original campus 14 miles south of Danville, IL. This building's construction in 1906 followed a fire that destroyed St. Viator's previous wooden administration building. A tornado in April 1963 also demolished the top two floors and front porch. These were restored in similar style, with the addition of a five-floor elevator.

Recent renovations include glass and metal partitions to create office space out of some hallways, new electrical, lighting, heating, and air conditioning systems, and thermal windows. All offices and most classrooms have access to media retrieval, including several "smart" classrooms. As additional academic buildings have been constructed since 1954, many departments have been moved to those facilities.

Stylish conference rooms are significant features on the main and second floors. The building was renamed in 1950 to honor the late Dr. Edwin Burke, a Chicago dentist who was a member of the board of trustees from 1914-1944 and chairman of the board for 26 of those years.


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Last update: November 2006