Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Lincoln Hall

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Institution Name: Berea College
Original/Historic Place Name: Lincoln Hall
Location on Campus: Chestnut St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1885-1887original design, dedication May 1887 Babb, George Fletcher Babb, Cook & Willard
1932addition A. O. Elzner & Anderson
Designer: George Fletcher Babb of Babb, Cook & Willard (New York); A. O. Elzner & Anderson (Cincinnati, OH)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Romanesque revival, Beaux-Arts classicism (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: local stone
Walls: brick
Roof: slate originally
ca. 1887other (laboratories and society meeting rooms)
ca. 1887museum
ca. 1887library
ca. 1887classrooms
1914-present (2006)administration
1915other (post office)

Lincoln Hall, constructed in 1887, was the first permanent classroom building on campus and has served many uses during its 120 years. The style of the building is closely related to Henry H. Richardson's Sever Hall at Harvard: fine brick work, a hip roof, and fire-proof vaults. The building was a gift of Roswell Smith of New York (publisher of Century Magazine), who requested that it be named after Abraham Lincoln. The building, which despite various interior renovations has remained structurally intact over the years, offers fine views of the campus quadrangle.

Berea College campus spreads over approximately 140 tree-covered, well-landscaped acres. The college was the first in the history of the U.S. established for the specific purpose of educating black and white together. As Berea's founder John G. Fee informed a friend in 1855, "We eventually look to a college giving an education to all colors, classes, cheap and thorough."

Lincoln Hall was placed on the National Register of Historic Buildings in February, 1975.


Berea College--Lincoln Hall. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1975.


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Last update: November 2006