Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Sherman Hall

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Institution Name: Austin College
Original/Historic Place Name: Sherman Hall
Location on Campus: 900 North Grand Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1914-1915original construction C. D. Hill & Company
Designer: C. D. Hill & Company (Dallas)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Materials:
Foundation: concrete pier and beam
Walls: brick
Roof: wood deck with sprayed foam roof system over deck
 
Function:
ca. 1915library
ca. 1915administration
ca. 1915chapel
ca. 2004-present (2006)auditorium
ca. 2004-present (2006)faculty offices (English, History, and Philosophy, & Religion departments)
ca. 2004-present (2006)classrooms
 

Narrative:
When the main college building burned to a cinder in 1913, the citizens of Sherman donated $50,000 for the construction of Sherman Hall. The stained glass windows on the second floor were dedicated to the memory of early trustees of the college, and a magnolia growing on the southwest corner of the building was planted by the first class of women to be admitted to Austin College in 1918. The tree was dedicated to the men of Austin College who died in service to their country in World War I.

The auditorium (chapel) was host to a wide variety of concerts, recitals, and special programs. The "Kappa Kapers," which were first performed by the women's sorority in the 1920s, constitute one of the longest standing traditions in the history of the auditorium. William Howard Taft spoke to a capacity crowd there in May 1919. Other notables who graced the Sherman Hall stage include Texas governors William Hobby, Sr. and Pat Neff, opera star Anna Case, and magician Harry Houdini.
 

References:

Cummins, Light T. Austin College: A Sesquicentennial History, 1849-1999. Austin, TX: Eakin Press, 1999.

Cummins, Light T., and Edward Hake Phillips, eds. Footsteps to the Past: A Walking Tour of the Austin College Campus. Sherman, TX: Austin College, 1988.

Wallace, Percy Everett. "The History of Austin College." M. A. thesis, University of Texas, 1924.

 

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Last update: November 2006