Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Towers Hall

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Institution Name: Otterbein College
Original/Historic Place Name: The "AD" Building
Location on Campus: 0 North Grove St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1871-1872original construction Brooks, R. T.
Designer: R. T. Brooks
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Gothic revival, Victorian, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Materials:
Foundation: stone
Walls: brick
Roof: slate
 
Function:
ca. 1871classrooms (main classroom building)
ca. 1871student union (four literary society rooms)
ca. 1954library
ca. 2004-present (2006)other (dance studio)
ca. 2004-present (2006)student union (mail room, student mail center, copy center, computer lab, The Philomathean Room)
ca. 2004-present (2006)administration (registrar, grants office)
ca. 2004-present (2006)academic department building (religion, history, mathematics, journalism, foreign languages, continuing studies)
n.d.classrooms (science labs, music studios, psychology labs)
n.d.library (archives)
n.d.administration (including College Service Department)
n.d.other (Otterbein's first radio station)
 

Narrative:
Towers Hall is the pride of Otterbein College. It is our oldest building and has been the central classroom space on campus for over 130 years. Every student who graduates from Otterbein has taken at least one class in its halls, and more college history has taken place within Towers Hall than in any other building on campus. It is important to local (Westerville) history, as the United Brethren church congregation met in the Hall's chapel for many years, and speakers and entertainers have used the chapel stage as well.

Several changes have been made to the structure over the years, most notably the conversion of the chapel to a library facility in 1954 and then to classrooms and offices in 1972. In 1998 a major renovation began to update the interior of Towers to prepare it for future service to the college and community. Computer ports were added to all classrooms, and several rooms were equipped with digital projectors. An elevator was installed to provide handicap access to all floors, and to everyone's relief, air conditioning was added.
 

References:

Bartlett, Willard W. Education for Humanity: The Story of Otterbein College. Westerville, OH: Otterbein College, 1934.

Garst, Henry. Otterbein University, 1847-1907. Dayton, OH: United Brethren Publishing House, 1907.

Griffiths, Richard M. Towers Hall, Otterbein College. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1971.

Hancock, Harold B. History of Otterbein College 1930-1972. Westerville, OH: Otterbein College, 1972.

Hancock, Harold B. History of Towers Hall. Unpublished manuscript. [n.d.]

Hancock, Harold B. Towers from the Ashes: The Story of the Building of Towers Hall. Unpublished manuscript. [n.d.].

Hurley, Daniel. Otterbein College: Affirming our Past/Shaping our Future. Westerville, OH: Otterbein College, 1996.

Johannesen, Eric. Ohio College Architecture Before 1870. Columbus, OH: Ohio Historical Society, 1969.

 

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