Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Adams Arch

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Institution Name: Rockford College
Original/Historic Place Name: Adams Hall Arch
Location on Campus: 5050 East State St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1891original construction
1975relocation; reconstruction Larson, Gust G.
Designer: Gust G. Larson
Type of Place: Landscape site
Style: (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
ca. 1891other (entrance to Adams Hall)
ca. 1971-present (2006)memorial site
ca. 1971-present (2006)outdoor space

Adams Arch originally served as the main doorway to Adams Hall located on the old Rockford College campus. Adams Hall was built from a gift of $25,000 by John Q. Adams of Chicago. The building housed physical laboratories (chemical, biological, and mineralogical), recitation rooms, and the art studio.

Adams Arch was brought over from the old campus and reconstructed with new stained glass panels designed by Ann Chiodine and Dr. Curtis Rolfe. It now offers a quiet outdoor spot for meditation near Fisher Chapel and the Starr Science Building. Future plans include the construction of an outdoor classroom, which will be created to include the arch.

Adams Arch is a memorial to Anna and Gust Larson. (The re-assembly of the arch was done by Gust G. Larson and Sons to honor the parents of the principal officers of the company.) A brick patio and benches are enhancements to the area. The setting of the arch gives a quiet visual impact on the campus. Adams Arch provides a distinct focal point set in a grouping of trees where its scale is toned down and softened by a natural environment.

Acting President John Spence supervised the re-location of the arch. Having it moved to the new campus was symbolically important to the alumni who had attended classes on the old campus. Its relocation was meant to symbolize the continued importance and recognition of the college's past. Many class pictures have been taken in front of the arch when the classes come for their reunions.


Nelson, C. Hal et al., eds. Rockford College: A Retrospective Look. Rockford, IL: Rockford College Press, 1980.


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Last update: November 2006