St. Mary Hall
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Saint Mary Hall is one of the most impressive buildings on the University of Saint Mary campus. Originally constructed in 1870, the five-story Italian Villa-style building was first occupied by the Mother House for the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth and by resident students attending Saint Mary Female Academy, a boarding school for women.
Since opening in 1870, Saint Mary Hall has witnessed dramatic changes. Saint Mary Academy was the first institution on campus, but closed in 1950 due to the growing needs of Saint Mary College, which had replaced the Academy when it was established in 1923. To better meet the needs of the 21st-century student, Saint Mary College became the University of Saint Mary in July 2003. Regardless of its use, Saint Mary Hall still stands as the focal point of the campus. Today, the building houses administrative offices, classrooms, and residence areas.
Workmanship in the building includes hand-hewn wooden beams and woodworked decoration made by craftsmen from the Leavenworth area. Unique and traditional down to the decor, the interior is Victorian in style with molded tin ceilings and walls. The building houses antiques given to the Sisters, university friends, and family members. Saint Mary Hall embodies the history of the institution and continues to be the center of the early history of the university and the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth.
Randall, G. P. A Hand Book of Designs: Containing Plans in Perspective for Court Houses, Universities, Academies, School Houses, Churches, Dwellings, Etc., Etc., Etc. and Suggestions Relative to Their Construction, Heating and Ventilation. Chicago, IL: Church, Goodman and Donnelley, 1868.