Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Bass Mansion

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Institution Name: University of Saint Francis
Original/Historic Place Name: Brookside II
Location on Campus: 2701 Spring St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1902original construction; interior design Wing & Mahurin Mandel Brothers
Designer: Wing & Mahurin; Mandel Brothers (interior)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Romanesque revival, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, culture, education, engineering, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: block
Walls: sandstone (much of it hand carved)
Roof: clay tile
ca. 1902-1944private residence (of John Henry Bass)
ca. 2004-present (2006)library

Situated at the center of the University overlooking Mirror Lake, the 100-year-old Bass Mansion is the icon of the University of St. Francis, standing as the image of strength in the University's long tradition. Originally the home of the industrialist Jon Henry Bass, the mansion and its more than seventy acres of surrounding park were purchased by the Order of the Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration as the new home for their college.

Since the 1870s the sisters had operated a hospital and school in Lafayette, Indiana, but by the 1940s, the school had outgrown its property. The sisters purchased the Bass Mansion and moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1944. Starting classes had fourteen sisters and sixty-two young women. The University has grown, but the Bass Mansion stands tall on the property and houses the main library. There are an estimated 350 staff and faculty and 1,700 students.


Morrison, Kattman, and Menze, Inc. Brookside II, The Bass Mansion. [Fort Wayne, IN: Morrison, Kattman, and Menze, Inc., n.d.].

Sebright, Terence F. John H. Bass Mansion [University of St. Francis]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1982.

The Story of the Bass Mansion. [s.l.: s.n.], 1985.


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Last update: November 2006