Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Jessie Preston Draper Building

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Institution Name: Berea College
Original/Historic Place Name: Jessie Preston Draper Memorial Building
Location on Campus: Campus Dr.
Date(s) of Construction:
1937-1938dedicated June 1938 Cellarius, Charles F.
2000renovation on the tower to house carillon
Designer: Charles F. Cellarius (Cincinnati, OH)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete
Walls: brick and reinforced concrete
Roof: slate
1938-present (2006)faculty offices
1938-present (2006)classrooms

The Jessie Preston Draper Building was built in 1937-1938 to house the Berea's freshman and sophomore students. The building was designed by Charles F. Cellarius of Cincinnati, who based the design on Independence Hall in Philadelphia and on buildings at the College of William and Mary. Funding for the building was largely provided by the Draper Foundation, a trust created by Mrs. Helen Draper Ayer in honor of her Kentucky-born mother, Jessie Preston Draper. The building is named in her honor.

Draper contains 24 classrooms and offices for teachers, reading rooms, a campus ministry, and the audio-visual aids department. A large projection room and a complete, electronically equipped language laboratory are also located in the building. In June 2000, renovation began on the Draper Building tower for the installation of a 56-bell carillon. The carillon is an instrument consisting of bells that can be played like a piano or organ. The musical instrument weighs 11 tons and is the largest in Kentucky.


Newcomb, Rexford. Architecture in Old Kentucky. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1953.


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Last update: November 2006