Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Westminster College Historic District

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Institution Name: Westminster College (MO)
Original/Historic Place Name: Westminster College Main Campus; Westminster College Old Campus
Location on Campus: 501 Westminster Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1901original construction; Hall of Science Link, Theodore
1909-1911original construction; Westminster Hall Patton & Bell
1951original construction; Reeves Library Larson, John R.
Designer: Theodore Link (Hall of Science), Patton and Bell (Westminster Hall), John R. Larson (Reeves Library)
Type of Place: Building group
Style: Modern/post-WWII, Beaux-Arts classicism, Other (Glossary)
Significance: history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
ca. 1853master plan (campus)

Five extant buildings (Newnham Hall, Westminster Hall, Westminster Gymnasium, Washington West House, and Reeves Library) and two memorials that commemorate buildings no longer extant, but that were one once part of the historic district (The Columns "Old Westminster Hall"; The Swope Chapel Memorial), now constitute the Westminster College Historic District.

This part of the Westminster College campus is significant in that the buildings and the plan represent early 20th-century collegiate architecture and campus settings; demonstrate the leadership role of Westminster College in early higher education in Missouri; were the setting for Winston Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech in 1946; and are associated with many distinguished individuals in the history and development of Westminster College.

1. The Columns (Old Westminster Hall, 1853-54) was a three-story Neoclassical brick building with six Corinthian columns. The building burned in 1909, but the columns remained. These columns are a campus icon.
2. Hall of Science (now Newnham Hall) was designed by Theodore Link and constructed in 1901.
3. Westminster Hall (1909-11) was designed by Patton and Miller of Chicago and M. F. Bell.
4. Westminster Gymnasium (1928) was where Winston S. Churchill delivered his famous "Iron Curtain" speech in 1946.
5. Swope Chapel Memorial (1967) commemorates the site of the William Chrisman Swope Chapel (1919), a Gothic brick cruciform building with buttresses which was demolished due to structural problems in 1967.
6. Washington West House (1907) is a two and one-half story Georgian Revival structure that long served as the College President's residence. It is now the site of the President's office.
7. Reeves Library (1951) was designed by John R. Larson. It is a contributing building to the historic district.


Dober, Richard P. Campus Landscape: Functions, Forms, Features. New York: Wiley, 2000.

Fisher, Michael Montgomery. History of Westminster College. Columbia, MO: Press of E. W. Stephens, 1903.

Lamkin, Charles Feckler. A Great Small College: A Narrative History of Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri. St. Louis, MO: Horace Barks Press, 1946.

McDermott, John D., and Erwin N. Thompson. "Westminster College Gymnasium (Site of Winston Churchill's 'Iron Curtain' Speech), Fulton, Missouri." Special Report, Historic Sites Survey, 1968.

Parish, William E. Westminster College: An Informal History, 1851-1969. Fulton, MO: Westminster College Press, 1971.

Hollrah, Warren, Ann Stimble, Eve Saunders, and Karen Grace. Westminster College Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1982.


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