Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Blake Hall

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Institution Name: Arcadia University
Original/Historic Place Name: Gate House or Gate Lodge
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction:
1892original design Trumbauer, Horace
Designer: Horace Trumbauer
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Gothic revival, Romanesque revival (Glossary)
Significance: architecture
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: stone and mortar
Walls: stone (Wissahickon schist)
Roof: tarpaper shingle
ca. 1892other (original gate house of private estate)
ca. 2004-present (2006)administration (Office of Institutional Advancement)
ca. 2004-present (2006)academic department building (art studios, language department offices)
ca. 2004-present (2006)residence hall

Set in a grove of trees, Blake Hall is an intricate, relatively small building with turrets, conical roofs, and interior paneling and decorative elements. It sits at the foot of the original estate drive (now an internal walkway on campus) lined with towering oaks. The gate itself is a round stone archway, with iron braces as if to hold torches. Like Murphy Hall, it is an early work of Horace Trumbauer that is generally overlooked in discussions of his grander projects.

Blake serves as an example of adaptive re-use, as it has gone through a series of incarnations since becoming part of the institution. First called "the Lodge" when acquired in 1928, it was initially used as a residence space. Subsequently, it became the French House, then was renamed the Gate House, serving as home to the Music Department, student clubs and organizations, the College Relations Office (publicity and PR), and, most recently, the University Development Offices.


Gallagher, Marie. "In Search of William Welsh Harrison and His Legacy." Senior thesis, Arcadia University, 1993.

Kathrens, Michael C. American Splendor, The Residential Architecture of Horace Trumbauer. New York: Acanthus Press, 2002.

Matthews, Kenneth D. Grey Towers Castle, A Living Landmark. Brochure. Philadelphia: Arcadia University, 1985.

Matthews, Kenneth D. Grey Towers, the former William Welsh Harrison Home. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1980.

Matthews, Kenneth D. The Story of Grey Towers: A Great American Castle. Brochure. Philadelphia: Arcadia University, 1985.

Platt, Frederick. "Horace Trumbauer: A Life in Architecture." Philadelphia Magazine of History and Biography 85.4 (2001): 314-49.


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