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An arts and crafts Tudor-style stucco building, Alumnae House has played an important role in the life of Vassar College. Built on a hill called the "rock lot," the Vassar College Alumnae House faces the main campus on the west side of Raymond Avenue, alongside College Avenue. At the onset of World War I it was proposed that joint apartment and dining accommodations for women faculty members and the Alumnae House be built near each other and in the same style. The project was postponed until the war was over, when the architectural firm of Hunt and Hunt, the sons of the famous nineteenth-century architect, Richard Morris Hunt, designed both the three-part faculty accommodations and the adjacent Alumnae House in the same Tudor style.
Built by and for the alumnae, the house was the beneficiary of the gifts of Blanche Ferry Hooker (1894), Queene Ferry Coonley (1896), and many other alumnae. Over the years, the Alumnae House has hosted conferences, lectures, parties, meetings, gatherings, reunions, and assorted other events. It has provided a meeting place in the Vassar community for neighbors in Dutchess County and beyond. Vassar alumnae often use it as a hotel when they return to the college.
The first floor contains a beamed living room with a large fireplace and a specially created panel designed by Violet Oakley, a dining room, a pub for less formal dining, a foyer with a welcoming fireplace, a library, and an office. A flagstone porch opens off the dining room. The second and third floors provide accommodations for lodging. Since the building was erected in an era when Vassar was a women's college, cubicles were included for male weekend guests on the third floor. The Alumnae House is currently undergoing restoration and modernization by architect Linda Yowell, Class of 1973. The restoration includes upgrades to the plumbing and electrical systems, the addition of an elevator and air conditioning system, and general upgrading of the infrastructure.
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