Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Guest House

Click on image titles for larger views.
Institution Name: Saint Mary's College
Original/Historic Place Name: St. Joseph's Hall
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction:
1902original construction Parka, W. B.
Designer: W. B. Parka
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Victorian, Regionalist/Vernacular (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: piers, footing
Walls: interior: plaster; exterior: brick with stone accents
Roof: framing wood; asphalt shingles (originally red slate)
1998-present (2006)other (guest house)

This building was an infirmary for Saint Mary's College from 1902 until 1949. At one point it was the administrative office for the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross. It later served as a convent, and since 1998 as a guest house for the Sisters and at times for Saint Mary's College special guests.

The Guest House is a very picturesque building consisting of three stories over a high basement. The house has three entrances, with a north portico that is particularly handsome. The halls and stairways are broad and numerous, and the floors are of the best hard maple. Many rooms had mantels, and the building originally has some tiled hallways and marble wainscoting. The building also had pleasant parlors, a fine dining room with a well-equipped kitchen, and every modern convenience available in 1902, including a dumb-waiter.

A beautiful south annex that is semi-circular in shape consists largely of southward facing glass windows that wall off the building yet are still a part of it. This was called the "sun-bath" and was a boon to convalescing patients. There were rooms fitted out for dentistry, shampooing, and manicuring. The Director of the Physical Culture Department had her room and office where the students' physical measurements were taken in the building. The alumnae often stayed in the hall during reunions and recalled their old infirmary days.

According to the Saint Mary's magazine Chimes, it was for 47 years a place "where even homesickness yielded to doses of kindness generously administered by the devoted Sisters." In 1949 the hall became a one-year residence for novices to the Congregation; and from 1969 to 1998 the hall, now named Immaculate Hall, served as a residence for some of the Sisters ministering on staff at Saint Mary's College. In 1998, the one-time students' infirmary became the guesthouse for the Congregation, thus symbolizing the important virtues of hospitality and ministry the Sisters have long valued.


Creek, Sister Mary Immaculate. A Panorama: 1844-1977, Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana. Notre Dame, IN: The College, 1977.

McCandless, Marion. Family Portraits, History of the Holy Cross Alumnae Association of Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana, 1879-1949. Notre Dame, IN: Saint Mary's College, 1952.

Wagner, Monica. Benchmarks: Saint Mary's College, How it Grew. Notre Dame, IN: Saint Mary's College, 1990.


Contact us / About Site / About CIC
© 2006
Council of Independent Colleges
Washington, DC
All rights reserved
Last update: November 2006