Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Spoonholder, The

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Institution Name: Morningside College
Original/Historic Place Name: Settee
Location on Campus: front lawn of Lewis Hall
Date(s) of Construction:
1908original construction
Type of Place: Landscape site
Style: (Glossary)
Narrative: see below
References: see below
1908-present (2006)outdoor space

This settee, dubbed the "Spoonholder" both for its resemblance to a kitchen utensil and that couples used it for "spooning," was given to the College by the Class of 1903 on the occasion of their five-year reunion. As there were thirteen members of the Class, the settee was designed to seat thirteen. The Class of 1903 was also significant for producing two future college presidents.

The Spoonholder continues to serve as a locus of student life, providing seating on the lawn of Lewis Hall and functioning as a billboard for student groups, who paint their messages onto the bench in bold colors. Originally, competition between rival classes led to the Spoonholder being painted frequently; today, the Spoonholder is constantly changing color, with or without slogans, and it is a tradition that designs remain untouched for a minimum of forty-eight hours.


Orwig, Timothy T. Morningside College: A Centennial History. Sioux City, IA: Morningside College Press, 1994.

Orwig, Timothy T. Morningside College Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1997.


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Last update: November 2006