Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Residential Village

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Institution Name: Ursinus College
Original/Historic Place Name: (various homes owned by individuals)
Location on Campus: Main St.
Date(s) of Construction:
ca. 1980srenovation of residences and landscaping work to form the Residential Village Saylor, Peter Dagit-Saylor
Designer: Peter Saylor of Dagit-Saylor (Philadelphia, PA): renovation of residences and landscape design that created the Residential Village in the 1980s.
Type of Place: Building group
Style: (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
pre- 1980sprivate residence (multiple)
ca. 1985-present (2006)residence hall (housing for students)

The seventeen buildings that now comprise the Residential Village were constructed over more than fifty years as individual private homes without any relationship to one another. About half the buildings were given to or purchased by the College between the 1920's and 1960's. Several of the properties were the homes of prominent early residents of Collegeville, including several presidents of the College and notable community and business leaders. Except for one building, a cottage dating to about 1810, they were constructed as the town and College grew and began to prosper between the mid-1800's through the 1920's. They are commonly referred to in the community and on campus today as "Victorian" in appearance. That understanding refers to the generous use of porches, and a variety of brick and frame construction, together with the use of turrets and towers in some of the buildings. When completed in the late 1980's, The Residential Village received awards from regional planners as an excellent example of preservation of the residential use of Main Street properties.

In the 1980's, working with Peter Saylor of the Philadelphia firm Dagit-Saylor, Ursinus bought the properties it did not own along one side of Main Street, developed standards which met zoning and building codes for residence halls, and by eliminating driveways and outbuilding such as detached garages, integrated the properties into a portion of the campus that now offers highly sought after housing for more than 150 students. As part of a comprehensive upgrade to all College-owned properties that house students, sprinklers are being added throughout each building.


Gaskie, Margaret. "For Beauty, for History . . . : Residential Village, Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, Dagit-Saylor Architects." Architectural Record 176 (January 1988): 90-95.


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