Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Harlow E. Hopkins Alumni Center

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Institution Name: Olivet Nazarene University
Original/Historic Place Name: Goodwin Hall (prior to 1944 remodeling)
Location on Campus: 245 E. Marsile Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1902original construction
1983-1994interior renovation
Designer: unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Regionalist/Vernacular, Other (Glossary)
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete, brick
Walls: wood, plaster
Roof: shingles
ca. 1902-1930sprivate residence
ca. 1930-1946other (housing and school for students preparing for the Catholic priesthood of the Viatorian Order)
1946-1951residence hall (men)
1951-1983academic department building (music)
1983-1991private residence
1991-present (2006)alumni center (with rooms for special meetings, receptions, and conferences)
1991-present (2006)administration (university relations and publications)

This was first the home of the Harvey J. Legris family in Bourbonnais. It was used in the 1930s as a residence and school for students preparing for the Catholic priesthood of the Viatorian Order. After Olivet purchased the campus in 1940, they bought this building in 1946 to use as housing for male students.

Local lore indicates that Frank Lloyd Wright had a part in the original design of this house. He apparently withdrew from the project, and it was completed by other architects and local builders.

From 1951-1983 it housed the Olivet Music Department and held teaching studios and classrooms. Dr. and Mrs. John Bowling rented this house from 1983-1991 while he was pastor of College Church of the Nazarene. They began an interior renovation of the main living quarters of the house as they lived there.

After Bowling was elected president of the university in 1991, a continuing major redevelopment provided use of the house as an alumni center, with guest rooms, offices, and reception rooms. The offices for University Relations and Publications are now in the building, along with the Alumni Association offices. Five rooms on the main floor are designed for special meetings, conferences, and receptions.

The job of communicating with alumni and all other constituencies of the university is concentrated in this picturesque early 1900s mansion, along with meeting rooms for a variety of functions. Alumni Homecoming events held each November are planned in this building, and other alumni meetings and communications are developed here. The graphic arts and publications offices on the top floor are involved with publications of all university office and departments. The proximity of this house to the Burke Administration Building across the street is a helpful asset.

The building was named in 1950 in honor of the late Dr. J. W. Goodwin, a Nazarene general superintendent from 1916-1940. It was renamed in 1994 as the Hopkins Alumni House to honor Dr. Harlow E. Hopkins, professor of music from 1954-1996 and chair of the Division of Fine Arts from 1974-1996.


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Last update: November 2006