Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Phillips Hall

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Institution Name: Bethany College (WV)
Original/Historic Place Name: Phillips Hall
Location on Campus: Campus Dr.
Date(s) of Construction:
1890groundbreaking May 31
1891construction complete; June 1891 Foulk, S. W. Davis & Co.
1891possible occupancy; January 31
1929-1930addition Albert L. Thayer & Son
1973-1977renovation Loeffler, Johnson & Associates
Designer: Davis & Co. (Wellsburg, WV) (original design); S. W. Foulk (New Castle, PA); Albert L. Thayer & Son (New Castle, PA); Loeffler, Johnson & Associates (Pittsburgh, PA)
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Gothic revival (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: brick (original 1891 section), cut sandstone (1930 addition)
Walls: brick
Roof: slate
1891-1892residence hall (men)
1891-1962dining hall
1892-present (2006)residence hall (women)
1930-present (2006)infirmary
1943-1945other (Navy barracks)

Phillips Hall is the oldest dormitory still in use on campus. The groundbreaking took place on May 31, 1890, and records indicate that the building was essentially completed in early 1891. It was fully ready for occupancy in the fall of 1891. The dormitory was designed to house 60 roomers and had a dining capacity of 100 boarders. It was fully carpeted and furnished with hardwood furniture. The dormitory had steam heat, with hot and cold water on each floor and bathrooms in the basement. The original boiler is still in the basement of the building. Rent was $50 per college year. In June 1892 the Board of Trustees reported that Phillips Hall was in good order with the exception of some cracks in the plastering. They recommended that reception rooms, the dining room, and the hall be papered and that matting be supplied for the halls. Minutes of the Board of Trustees for June 14, 1892, state, "We recommend that Phillips Hall be used by the young ladies, and that Pendleton Heights be rented to President McDiarmid. We suggest that a few of the best rooms in the Hall be rented for $60.00 each when occupied by two, and for $50.00 when occupied by one."

In 1929-1930, Phillips Hall was renovated and expanded, the construction being completed by May 1930. B. D. Phillips of Butler, PA provided part of the funding. The final cost for the construction was $325,000, and the architect was Albert L. Thayer and Son, New Castle, PA. The renovation addition was designed to follow the Gothic lines of the campus's main building. The opening of the first section of the new Phillips Hall was celebrated on May 9, 10, and 11, 1930, at the Spring Festival. The new addition added a wing to the west end of the original building, so that the front of the building now measured 200 feet, each wing being 100 feet long. It was four stories high with part of the lower floor under the ground and extending over the college hill to the west. It accommodated 115 women. A trunk elevator was added, as were kitchenettes and laundry rooms. On the main floor was a large drawing room, suites for the dean of women, house hostess, dietician, assistant dietician, and guest rooms. On the ground floor were a main dining room, kitchen, refrigerator room, and a storage room. The building also had an infirmary, with two hospital wards, one with two beds and one with four beds. From 1943-1945 Phillips Hall also served as the headquarters for the Navy V-12 program. In 1946, an inventory shows specific uses of rooms and furnishings used in each. There were also private quarters for a nurse, including bedroom, office, and bath. A dispensary was added in 1931.

Phillips Hall was remodeled again between 1973 and 1977. The architect was Loeffler/Johnson and Associates of Pittsburgh, and Grubb Contracting Company and Frick Construction Company did the work, which included electrical upgrades, painting, plastering, and carpeting. During the 1977 renovation work was done on a fire and sprinkler system. The project also updated life safety, energy usage, and living conditions. It reclaimed an entire floor not in use since a dining room and kitchen were abandoned in 1962. Exterior work included reconditioning of the superstructure and floor, masonry work, including carpentry and millwork, insulation, roofing, doors, glass and glazing, lath, plaster and drywall, floor coverings, painting, a plaza area, sprinklers, plumbing, heating and ventilation, electrical outlets, and fixtures. Work done in 1977 was funded through a college-housing loan from the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. At that time, the building housed 83 women.


Woolery, William Kirk. Bethany Years: The Story of Old Bethany from Her Founding Years through a Century of Trial and Triumph. Huntington, WV: Standard Printing and Publishing, 1941.


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Last update: November 2006