Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project



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Institution Name: St. Bonaventure University
Original/Historic Place Name: Lynch Hall
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction:
1900original construction
1908rebuilt after fire
1933rebuilt after fire Oakley, Chester
Designer: Chester Oakley (1933 rebuilding)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: stone
Walls: brick
Roof: terra cotta tile
ca. 1900-1933other (friary)
ca. 1900-1933classrooms
ca. 1900-1933administration
ca. 2004-present (2006)academic department building (science)

DeLaRoche Hall was originally built as the College Building in 1900. Damaged by fire in 1908, it was rebuilt immediately as Lynch Hall, and served until 1933 as classroom, administrative, and friary space. In 1933 the building was again severely damaged by fire. It was rebuilt of fire resistant materials under the direction of noted Buffalo architect Chester Oakley. Together with surrounding buildings of the old campus, Oakley created a unique environment of highly decorated brick and tile buildings reminiscent of Florentine architecture. This campus creates a tangible link between the University and its intellectual roots in the Italy of St. Francis and St. Bonaventure. Terracotta ornamentation over the main entrance includes references to the local oil industry founded upon the discovery of oil by the Franciscan Fr. DeLaRoche.


Angelo, Mark V. The History of St. Bonaventure University. St. Bonaventure: Franciscan Institute, 1961.

"Big Science Hall for Bona's Now Certain." Bona Venture, April 8, 1927. St. Bonaventure University, Bonaventure, NY, 1.

The Dedication of Fr. Joseph de la Roche d'Allion Hall. [St. Bonaventure, NY: St. Bonaventure College], 1934.

"De La Roche Getting $1.3 Million Renovation." Olean (NY) Times Herald, June 2, 1974, 1-2.

Eaton, Betty. Chester Oakley: His Work on the St. Bonaventure University Campus. Term paper. Spring 1983. Archives, St. Bonaventure College, St. Bonaventure, NY.

"History of De LaRoche Hall Highlighted by Series of Fires." Bona Venture, October 20, 1950.

O'Neill, Megan. "Buildings of Saint Bonaventure." Online (2006). St. Bonaventure College, St. Bonaventure, NY.


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Last update: November 2006