Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Hillside Hall

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Institution Name: Westminster College (PA)
Original/Historic Place Name: Ladies Hall & Conservatory of Music
Location on Campus: 319 S. Market St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1884original construction
Designer: unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Victorian (Glossary)
Significance: history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Walls: red brick
ca. 1885academic department building (conservatory of music)
1885-present (2006)residence hall (women)

Hillside Hall, a residence for women, is the oldest major building on the Westminster campus. It was completed in 1884 and occupied in January 1885. It is of special interest because of its relationship to Westminster's main claim to fame. Thirty years of research indicate that Westminster is the oldest coeducational college in the country. (A main barrier to higher education for women had been broken at Oberlin College in 1841 when three women from the affiliated female seminary overcame faculty resistance to earn the first bona fide A.B. degrees awarded to women. It would be some years before Oberlin would become an integrated coeducational college.) The building also originally housed the Conservatory of Music, which started a distinguished program in music education at the college. For a time Hillside housed male students, but women returned and it has been a dormitory for women for many years. Additions and remodeling over the years have made Hillside ineligible for the National Register of Historic Places.


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Last update: November 2006