Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Campus buildings constructed before 1930

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Institution Name: Seton Hill University
Original/Historic Place Name: St. Joseph Academy and Annex; St. Mary's Hall and Annex; Lowe Hall, St. Joseph Hall; Canevin Hall
Location on Campus: on the crest of Seton Hill
Date(s) of Construction:
1886-1889original construction; Administration Building Stillburg, Joseph
1928original construction; Sullivan Hall (last building constructed before 1930) Strong, Carlton
pre- 1930numerous other buildings
Designer: Joseph Stillburg, Administration; Carlton Strong, the others except St. Mary's
Type of Place: Building group
Style: (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
ca. 1847-1928master plan (campus)

"The institution now (1919) known as Seton Hill College was founded in 1883 and six years later was incorporated under the name of St. Joseph Academy. For thirty years St. Joseph's performed faithful service as a standard academy…. Two years of study were added to the curriculum in 1913…. Then followed five years during which, together with conducting the Junior College, the trustees were enlarging the scope of its work…. On April 12, 1918, the charter was granted which raised Seton Hill to college rank with power to confer degrees." (Seton Hill College Bulletin of Information 2 [Greensburg, PA: Seton Hill College], 7).

In 1918 the buildings on the college campus included: the original building, the former Stokes Mansion; St. Joseph's Academy; the Chapel Annex; St. Anne's Hall; Maura Hall and the Maura Hall Annex; and the Heating Plant, Boiler House, barn, and silos, as well as a number of farm outbuildings. The original building, built in 1847, was at that time St. Mary's School for Small Boys. St. Joseph's Academy, now the Administration Building, was begun in 1886 and completed in 1889. The 1896 Chapel Annex was connected to the Academy building and housed the Chapel, an Auditorium, the kitchen, and two dining rooms. St. Anne's Hall (1903) was used as a faculty house but was demolished in 2003. Maura Hall and the Maura Hall Annex, with classrooms, offices and dormitories, were built in 1908.

The next ten years saw rapid growth of college buildings, student body, and faculty. The buildings erected during the 1920s include: Lowe Hall (1920), residence hall and the Academy/College dining room; St. Joseph Hall (1923), a residence for forty Sisters; and Canevin Hall (1924), a second student residence hall. The three residence buildings were all connected to the Administration Building. Sullivan Hall (1928), a gymnasium, originally called the Activities Building, was built at a distance. The plans included a covered walk from it to Canevin Hall. The covered walk was never built. These buildings made the rapid growth of the College possible by providing dormitory and classroom space for the increasing enrollment.


Boyle, Mary Electa. Mother Seton's Sisters of Charity in Western Pennsylvania. Greensburg, PA: Seton Hill, 1946.

Troutman, R. Dwight. "Hazard Yet Forward: A History of Seton Hill College." Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, 1978.


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