Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Swings, The

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Institution Name: Seton Hill University
Original/Historic Place Name: Swings, The (Lawn Swings)
Location on Campus: scattered about the campus behind the main buildings on the south campus
Date(s) of Construction:
Type of Place: Landscape site
Style: (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education, religion
Narrative: see below
References: see below
ca. 1886-present (2006)outdoor space (place for relaxation)

The swings have been a feature of the campus since the days of St. Joseph's Academy. Several years ago planning consultants suggested removing the swings, saying that they gave the campus the look of an "Old Folks Home." They disappeared from the campus when the Administration Building was being renovated. The students, faculty, staff, alumnae, and the Sisters of Charity, objected strongly.

The Swings were well-worn and in rather poor condition after decades of use. They were all repaired and have now been bolted to cement blocks sunk into the ground. This helps keep them level and in one place. They no longer grace the front (south) campus. Instead, they are scattered in the less "public" areas. Students and their visitors make good use of them, especially in good weather.

The swings were and are an important part of the campus history and environment. Classes have frequently met on and around the swings, especially when classes were small and lent themselves to an informal teaching method. They also provide a quiet place for individual and group study and are a great place to relax and enjoy the weather and the view.


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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Last update: November 2006