Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Kiehnel residence halls

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Institution Name: Rollins College
Original/Historic Place Name: Kiehnel residence halls
Location on Campus: Holt Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1929-1936original construction Kiehnel, Richard Kiehnel & Elliot
Designer: Richard Kiehnel; Kiehnel & Elliott
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, landscape
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete
Walls: stucco on clay block
Roof: wood framed rafters with 4/4 planking with clay barrel
ca. 1936-present (2006)residence hall

I In 1926, Rollins' eighth president, Hamilton Holt, announced his intention to develop the campus in the Mediterranean style. He hired Coral Gables architect Richard Kiehnel to create a master plan for the campus. Kiehnel's Spanish Mediterranean style, popularized by Addison Mizner, has become synonymous with Rollins College. The first of Kiehnel's designs to be constructed were three small (19-room) residence halls, Rollins, Puglsey, and Mayflower Halls (1929-1930). Cross, Fox, Gale, Hooker, and Lyman Halls were added in 1936, followed by Strong Hall in 1939. All continue to serve as students' first-choice residence halls.

Graced with balconies, carved woodwork, and decorative masonry, the buildings reflect a human scale that is welcoming, and the connecting loggias are enhanced by the subtropical landscape. Stretching from west to east, the Kiehnel residence halls created two residential sectors-female students on the west side of campus, male students on the east. The western spine was extended toward the center of the campus in 1941-1942 with the addition of the Alumni House and Student Center, also designed by Kiehnel. A complete renovation of the Student Center in 1999-2000 restored the original decorative elements and converted the space into the Rice Family Bookstore and Café.

Each loggia bears a marble plaque engraved with an inspirational message. Rollins graduate Fred Rogers, creator of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, was so moved by one, "Life Is for Service," that he carried a handwritten copy of the phrase in his wallet, and friends gave him a framed photograph of the original.


Campen, Richard N. Winter Park Portrait: The Story of Winter Park and Rollins College. Beachwood, OH: West Summit Press, [ca. 1987].

Kiehnel & Elliott, Architects. A Monograph of The Florida Work of Kiehnel and Elliott, Architects. Miami, FL: Miami Post Publishing Company, 1938.

Lane, Jack C., ed. & comp. Rollins College: A Pictorial History. Tallahassee, FL: Rose Printing Company, Inc., 1989.

MacDowell, Claire Leavitt. Chronological History of Winter Park. Winter Park, FL: Orange Press, 1960.


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Last update: November 2006