Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Thompson Hall

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Institution Name: Austin College
Original/Historic Place Name: Thompson Hall
Location on Campus: north
Date(s) of Construction:
1914original construction C. D. Hill & Company
Designer: C. D. Hill & Company (Dallas, TX)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete pier and beam
Walls: brick
Roof: wood deck with sprayed foam roof over deck
1914-present (2006)academic department building (sciences)

Built by the Drake-Branum Construction Company of Fort Worth, Texas and named for Captain John Martin Thompson, Thompson Hall helped to consolidate the teaching of Physical and Natural Sciences on campus. Funding was provided by Hoxie, Alex, and J. Lewis Thompson, alumni of the college.

The building contains 17,000 sq. ft. of classroom and laboratory space and state-of-the-art scientific equipment and was one of the more impressive buildings conceived in its day. It originally housed the Sam Houston bell (now located in the college chapel), which had been brought to Sherman when the college moved from Huntsville, Texas, in the 1870s. In the early years of the college, the bell was rung to signal a winning football game, the beginning of classes, and the call to chapel.


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